Monday, June 29, 2015

Today Gay Marriage, Tomorrow Polygamy

The rapture exuded by many in our society around the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage was remarkable.  Given all that is going on the world - ISIS running wild, Greece near default, massive death due to heat in Pakistan - you'd think gay marriage was the most important thing in the world.

Perhaps it is, because this is the start of legal polygamy in the United States.

Bull, you say?  Consider the following:

  • LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender - all considered normal sexual constructs in human physiology
  • Bisexuality, at its definition, means an attraction to at least two different people (one male, and one female)
  • Since bisexuals can't choose who they love, and since they love at least two people, who are we to judge their desire to manifest that love via traditional marriage?
One can't refute the points made above.  You just can't, hence polygamy is coming, and none of us should feel shocked when it does.

Personal aside - I believe gay people are born that way, and that they deserve the protections afforded to folks that are married.  Period.  However, I also believe that there are some nefarious folks in our society that want to see our institutions torn down, and push for changes solely for the chaos it causes.  It is that latter part, I believe, that will continue to push the frontier of the definition of "marriage" until such a time in which it no longer has a constructive definition.

I may be wrong, but I don't think so.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Conservation Participation by Type of Bird Hunter

Ultimate Upland News recently published an analysis which showed the percentage of participation and membership in a given conservation group based on the type of bird hunted.  Here are their findings:

Some points of interest based on this analysis:

  • Good for duck hunters!  Nearly half are involved in some type of membership, however...
  • is not clear how multiple memberships are treated.  For example, I am a member of Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, and the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association.  Given how I think these were tallied, I would count for 3 guys
  • Upland hunters have a ways to go.  The fact that Pheasants Forever only has 125,000 members with nearly 1.5 million people hunting pheasants in the US is a flat shame.  
Between changes in agricultural practices, government programs, public land usage, and other impacts, the environment for game birds in the US is shrinking.  Sometimes the only things standing in the way of additional reductions of habitat are these conservation organizations.  If you hunt birds, it is incumbent on you to support one or more of these groups.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Remember the Alamo?

We are living in scary times.  With politicians and leftists screaming for a "whitewashing" (pun intended) of our history via flag banning, statue removal, and the like, one wonders where all of this ends.  Self-hatred of US history has long been a rumored trait of the far left, and we're now seeing it on full display.  And that hatred does not stop with the Civil War.

I believe that we'll see two different things here coming up in fairly short order:

  • Like Charleston was the site of the first shots being fired in the Civil War, I believe that the Charleston shootings and subsequent calls to actions are going to be the start of what will be a long and brutal fight for slave reparations.  And I do believe that when we get to that point, it will quite literally tear our country apart.
  • Leftists, emboldened by the progress their seeing on the Confederate flag front, will continue their aggressive affront toward "cleaning up" US history.  It won't stop with the Civil War - it will go much further than that
Hence, if my prediction is correct, the phrase "Remember the Alamo" might not be just politically incorrect, it might be downright racist, and verboten.   

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Golf Swing Analysis App - 3Bays GSA Pro

The power of our mobile devices is simply stunning.  Here's the latest iteration:

Pretty amazing stuff, and takes the concept of "wearables" to a whole other level.

Would love to be able to try this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First Day of Work

On January 15 of this month, my position was eliminated and I lost my job.  It has been a hard slug, but I landed a job about a month ago, and am starting my new position today.

I've held a job most of my life.  I started with a paper route when I was 8, and worked pretty much the entire time through high school and college.  I've taken my work seriously; regardless of the job I held.  I always felt it important to provide a return on the investment that my employer was making on me.  

Today, that engagement begins anew with a new employer in a whole new location.  And I am so ready to go back to work that I can't wait.  While the work involved in a finding a new job (and make no mistake in that - it is damned hard work) and activity around some consulting I did helped bide my time, these past couple of weeks since my offer has been received and things have been brought to a stop on the job search have been long, long days.

I have a lot more to offer somebody, and I look forward to returning to a position as a productive member of society.  

Here we go...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fox's Coverage of US Open Terrible

Mrs. YDP and I spent last Sunday watching the great finish at the US Open.  Unfortunately, Fox's coverage was so damned distracting and frustrating, it nearly ruined the event.

A couple of things really got to me:
  • The first three hours of coverage wasn't.  It was nothing more than a Super Bowl pre-game show.  Despite dozens of golfers on the course, and a course designed to bring the world's best to their knees, we were presented with story after story, and talking head after talking head.  We were shown very little golf.
  • It seemed all that mattered to Fox was the final two twosomes.  Again, while dozens of guys are killing themselves on the course, we spent dozens of minutes watching the last group of the day warming up on the range.  Really.
  • Given the above, we missed the incredible play of Adam Scott.  At -6, the guy shoots the best round of the day and climbed 29 places.  Of that incredible round, Fox maybe showed 8 shots, with nearly all of those being putts.  Huge fail.
  • It seemed Fox really wanted to play up the Jason Day / vertigo angle.  For hours before tee off, that's all that was discussed, and while he was on the course we were treated either to close ups of him blinking, or color commentary about "how he must have had a spell" upon hitting a crappy shot.  If I hear the word "vertigo" one more time, I'm going to puke.
  • Don't get me started on balls lost by the camera, not going back to tape to see how a guy ended up putting for eagle (as they did with Scott THREE TIMES), and myriad other amateurish errors.
I told my wife that golf broadcasts in the 1970's were better than what Fox pulled together yesterday.  I don't think I'm far off.

Atrocious coverage.  Period.

Golf needs a lot of help.  Participation is in free fall.  Coverage of one of the majors by Fox only makes a bad situation worse.  The PGA needs to address this.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Rubio Heckled, Knocks It Out of the Park

This is how you handle being heckled:

A couple of thoughts:

  • This guy looks more and more presidential to me with every passing day
  • When is the last time a liberal speaker was shouted down?  Anyone have any insight on that?  It seems like stifling speech has become a tactic that solely is employed by the Left.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Prayers and Tears for Charleston

The murder of nine people in a church, at a prayer meeting, is beyond our capability to understand.  People will try to categorize it, people will use it to push a political agenda, and people will try and provide some sense of explanation.  It is human nature to do so - to try and understand what in the world could have happened.

In a situation like this, there is no understanding.  Regardless of what gets bandied about, the bottom line to all if this is that it was conducted out of evil.  Pure, undiluted evil.

It seems lately that evil is having a heyday.  It appears to be winning, just about everywhere.  

Now, just about more than ever, is the time to put on the armor of God:

Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Pray for justice.  Pray for calm.  Pray for all the victims and their loved ones.  Pray for our country.

We're going to need it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Somalia in Minnesota

Thirty years ago, when I attended grad school at the University of Minnesota, I lived in this neighborhood.

Things have changed quite a bit.

Check out the guy at the 4:00 mark.  It used to be that immigrants where happy and proud to be Americans.  This guy is anything but.

Something tells me we might be seeing him again...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Going "Dark" for Dinner

The new campaign from Dixie is all about "what if we got rid of our distractions (like phones and dishes) and just plain talked to each other at dinner?"  

It was shot unscripted, using different groups of families and friends.

Home run:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Moving to the Other End of the Spectrum

Living in Wisconsin these past five years has been an eye opener across many fronts.  One of the biggest surprises is the role that drinking plays in everyday life here.  The Tavern League is arguably one of the most powerful lobbies in the state, and as such, rules around drinking are as lax as they are anywhere.  Things like laws that make it OK for kids to drink with parents in bars and restaurants, and very light first time DWI ramifications make Wisconsin a drinking wonderland.

Based on a recent study of the population that drinks there, it shows:

Now compare that to the place in which we're moving - Utah.  In that state exists the lowest percentage of drinkers in the nation.

As one who enjoys a nice adult beverage every now and again, this looks like it will be an education.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Horror, Incorporated

If you were a kid that grew up in the Twin Cities in the 1970's, you knew that you were having a wild night if the babysitter let you stay up to watch Horror, Incorporated.  The show ran horror movies from the 40's, 50's, and 60's - many of them black and white and many of them classic.

For me, I loved the any of the Wolfman movies ("Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers at night - may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the moon is full at night"), Creature from the Black Lagoon, and any of the Godzilla iterations.  

I usually always feel asleep at some point, but just making it to the creepy opening was a kiddom coup.  And what a creepy opening it was:

Campy?  Heck yes.  But for a boy back in the 70's it was television magic.  Pure magic.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dave Grohl Breaks Leg, The Show Must Go On

This has been everywhere lately, and it should be.

Two days ago, during the second song of his concert, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters feel off the stage and broke his leg.  Really.  

Before he left, he demanded that the band keep things going, and that he'd be back.  Nobody expected that he'd be back that night (language warning):

Who does this?  Simple.  Somebody that really understands where he's come from, and pays the ultimate respect to the people that put him where he's at, because he just freaking cares.  Somebody that's beyond professional.  Somebody with guts and balls as big as a stadium.  

Somebody that's leading the world's last rock and roll band.

That's who does that.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday Song Share: Eye to Eye - Nice Girls

This oldie was released in 1981, and was an obscure one-hit-wonder.  It was produced by Steely Dan producer Gary Katz, who was hot off of his work on the Gaucho album.  You can hear a lot of that sound it this one:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Islam and the True War on Women

A couple of weeks ago StarTribune had a substantive article on the widely utilized practice of female genital mutilation by many in the Muslim faith.  

For those of the squeamish sort or of a sensitive constitution, you may want to stop reading now and move on to another article.  You've been warned...

The practice usually involves the removal of the clitoris, cutting the labia, and sewing together what is left to pretty much close it off until the husband opens things up again.  Really.

And the practice isn't performed on infants.  It's done on pre-adolescents, and without any kind of pain medication.

This isn't some kind of fringe activity.  In places like Egypt, Somalia, and Guinea, over 90% of women aged 15-49 have been butchered in this fashion.  All in the name of Islam.  In fact, US immigrants from these regions are sending their daughters back to these countries to endure this mutilation.

Despite this, we worry about things like "the war on women" where US women can't get the government to pay for their condoms, among other hardships.  Islam, as usual, gets a pass.

Why is that? 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Twins Revert to Form

We recently celebrated the surprising success of the first place Minnesota Twins.  Unfortunately, like a great dream, morning has come and reality has set in.

The team had a great opportunity in their last two series to prove they were for real.  They started out with the lowly Milwaukee Brewers; owners of one of the worst records in baseball.  They then followed up with the Kansas City Royals; arguably the most talented team in their division.  By laying the smack down on the Royals, the Twins had the opportunity to put some distance between them and their talented foes.

Unfortunately, the Twins woke up.

The Brewers' series was lost 1-3, and KC just swept us 0-3, with the Twins scoring just three runs in the entire series.

Now we'll see what they're made of, as the Twins are now two games out of first, but still up a game and a half on the wild card.  Can they hold on?  Given the ugly brand of baseball they've played this past week, the future looks pretty grim.

They clearly need to hop back into bed and get that dream rolling again.  The locker room dance floor has been way too quiet of late.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Time Lapse of One World Trade Center

For me, this thing took way too long to be built.  I would have loved if we would have got this up as a thumb in the eye of the Islamists, but as it is said, better late than never.

Pretty amazing video - enjoy:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Left's Support of Islam - Another Irony

In a recent commentary by The New Yorker's Margaret Talbot, she gleefully covered a recent case in which it was found that Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against a Muslim applicant because she needed to wear a hijab at work.   To the employer, the hijab did not fit within their confines of their "look policy" - a wide-ranging policy that covered random things like disallowing facial hair, dictating the length of cuffs that were acceptable on skinny jeans, and determining which hair highlights were and were not OK for work.

Draconian?  Yeah, kind of.  But for a brand like Abercrombie, I get it.  I may not want to work there, but I do get it.

Unfortunately, our hijab-wearing applicant didn't get it, and immediately assumed religious discrimination.  The court case she opened was taken all the way to the Supreme Court, where she won 8-1.  Sweet victory!

And in celebrating this victory against the oppressive Abercrombie, Ms. Talbot wrote the following (emphasis mine):

In its marketing strategy if not its legal one, the company is trying to catch up. Last December, after protests from shareholders and many months of declining store sales, Jeffries stepped down as C.E.O. In April, the company let it be known that it would pursue “more inclusive and diverse” hiring practices and allow for a dress code that was “more individualistic.” It was clearly announcing these changes in hopes of reversing its sales slump. That might seem trivial. But if it’s no longer profitable to tout your cultural intolerance, that’s pretty cool.

Touting cultural intolerance, huh?  Like, I don't know, maybe like a religion that considers women such second class citizens that they have to be mandated to cover themselves with a hijab?  That kind of intolerance?  The one in which, in some places of the world, mandate that their women be covered head to toe?  And those that don't abide are murdered?  That kind of intolerance?

Sweet irony. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Visit to Utah

Mrs. YDP and I were in Salt Lake City and Park City this past weekend, evaluating if this could be a place in which we could live.  While it definitely has its quirks, what place doesn't?  As for scenery, I'm not sure there is much better out there:

For a person that loves the outdoors, it's paradise.  Hiking, skiing, cross country, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, fishing, hunting, and other opportunities abound.  Likewise, given its location, some of the finest parks in the world lie just a quick car ride away.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Religious Freedom" an Oxymoron?

A more and more common meme in chat rooms and in comments sections is that the "religious freedom" that us religious folks are accused of braying about is really an oxymoron.  To be religious means that one has to follow a set of rules, and what kind of freedom is in that, right?

Obviously, the definition and meaning behind the term of "religious freedom" is not applicable to the relationship that one has with our Deity, but rather applies to the ability to experience our religion without the interference of the state.  But let's not let accurate meanings get in the way of such delicious snark, shall we?

Beyond that, let's take on the comment at its face - that those that choose to live religious lives are not truly free, but are bound by rules to a level that make them anything but.  With all those rules organized religion has, how could a practitioner ever consider themselves free?

Unfortunately, those ignorant folks know very little about organized religion.

From my perspective as a Catholic, our freedom and our use of free will is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us.  With it, we can choose to follow a life in service to Him (and others), or we can choose to go on chat boards and criticize those that do.  It is all our choice.  

Likewise, when we do choose a religious life, we still make poor choices.  We come up short, we sin, and we hurt others and ourselves.  These choices come about absolutely because we have the ability to choose, and we sometimes pick the wrong one.  In fact, every day were presented with multiple opportunities as to how we choose to live our lives.  Some align with a religious life, others do not.

And when we come up short, we have Someone there that longs to hear our recognition of our wrongs, our repentance, and our desire to do better.  By His sacrifice, we're forgiven and reconciled.  We're washed clean, set back on the path, where more choices await.

I'd define that as a lot of freedom, actually...  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Delta #2291 Bird Strike

Mrs. YDP and I were on our way to evaluate Salt Lake City to see if it was a place in which we could live.  I have an offer for work there, and we were looking forward to seeing this new place and determining if it could be home for us.

We pushed out of the gate a touch late, and were held up on the tarmac due to traffic inbound to MSP, but within a couple of minutes the pilots had the engines maxed out and we were moving down the runway.

Before our front wheels lifted off, the engine on the starboard side started shaking in a most unnatural way.  We happened to be sitting right on top of it:

I've done enough travel to know that something was clearly wrong.  Likewise, our climb was not at all normal, and the pilots were gassing up and then letting off on the engines.  Sure enough, a couple of minutes into it, our pilot came on and said we likely hit a bird at take off, and that we needed to head back to the airport.  And that's exactly what we did.  Here's our flight path:

When we got on the ground the pilot reported that we did indeed suck in a bird (a seagull) as there was evidence on both the runway and in the engine.  As for the engine itself, it had suffered "substantial damage."  Our plane wasn't going anywhere except for in the shop:

While I knew we were likely OK (we were on an Airbus, and they can fly just fine on one engine), the shaking of the plane was so unnatural and was quite unnerving.  It was great to be back on the ground again.

We ended up making the news (OK, I admit it was a slower news day), but all is well that ends well:

Friday, June 5, 2015

CNN Feels Pamela Geller "Relishes" Death Threats

Pamela Geller was the person behind the "draw Mohammed" event in Texas a couple of weeks ago which attracted a couple of Islamist radicals to the event, intent on murder.  Due to some handy security work, the terrorists were dispatched without any additional loss of life.

Since that time, Geller has become Muslim enemy #1, as evidenced by the situation in Boston earlier this week in which it was determined that she was the primary target for a beheading.

Recently, CNN had Geller on.  Here is the exchange:

At the 4:00 minute, CNN talking head Erin Burnett states "nothing justifies a beheading or a beheading plot, but..."

Nothing justifies a beheading, BUT????

Nothing justifies a beheading.  PERIOD.

Incredible.  To borrow from that renown journalistic giant, Kent Brockman, she might as well have said, "I, for one, welcome our new Muslim overlords." 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Millennial Marriage Vows

Making the turns on social media, usually passed along by some millennial, is a list of wedding vows that need to apply, otherwise "I flat out refuse to marry."  People are going absolutely crazy over this, and believe it totally applies to them as well.  You can click the link to check out the entire post of tripe, but if you just want a taste, here's one:

I don’t want to settle down with you. I want to take off with you – to far-away countries, foreign landscapes, gems and corners of the world that would only have looked half as amazing without you by my side. When I strap on a backpack and head to the airport, I want you to be boarding that plane with me. You’re the person I want to get lost with, set up camp with, stumble through dark streets with at 5a.m. with after a long, rambunctious night in a city that we can’t pronounce the name of. When I get home and have tale after ridiculous tale to recite to my friends, you’re the one I want there to back up my claims. You’re the person I want to come home to and the person I want to escape with. I want you on every adventure I take for the rest of my life. I want to do everything on earth with you.

Now let’s stop with these frivolous vows – there’s a party to have! We have gifts to tear open and champagne to chug and a whirlwind honeymoon to go embark on. This whole marriage thing is old and tired but we most certainly are not. After all, you’re only young and wild once. And baby, our wildest days are just beginning.

Seriously?  That's how choose to profess your lifelong love?  That's the commitment you're making to your partner?

Here's some insight for you, kiddo.  You know jack squat about love, and even less about life.  If you did, you might come up with something like:

Life happens, and when it does, I will be the one steadfastly at your side.  When your dad dies, it is my voice on the phone that will tell you, and my waiting arms in which you'll run into for comfort and understanding.  When one of us has a health issue that threatens a life, we'll face it as at team - with bravery, intelligence, faith, and undying support for not only the one that is sick, but for us.  Team us.  And when career challenges occur, I'll be your ear, and I'll provide you comfort, counsel, and will prop you up on the days in which you think nobody cares for you.  On those days - all days, but those days in particular - if there is one thing you can count on, it is my love for you.  Always.

Good luck to you and your future husband.  I wish you much happiness and success.  

And a whole lot of fortitude.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Jenner Story, and Being More Tolerant than Thou

For two days now the primary story out there in social and traditional media has been the transformation of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner.  Story after story and comment after comment have reiterated a couple of common themes:

  • How brave she is
  • How beautiful she is
  • If you call her by her former name or gender pronoun, you're a bigot
  • People that don't line up and celebrate this are bigots
At the risk of sounding like one of those hated bigots, I'm sorry, but I just can't celebrate this.  Just like I felt upon seeing the guy at the gym yesterday with the tattoos all over his face, when I look at Jenner I just feel a deep sense of sadness that something so terrible must have been eating at him (sorry, he was a "him" at the time) that he felt it necessary to do something so dramatic to his body.

Likewise, the fact that it was done in such a public fashion - and will continue to do so via a massive Diane Sawyer interview and via Caitlyn Jenner's own new reality show - sure smacks of emotional neediness.  Something seems terribly psychologically askew, yet should one harbor that thought, let alone utter it, you're bullied and labeled as a bigot.

There is only one way to think on this, and that is to support it.  Period.  And of the most interesting parts to the story, I was amazed at the lengths that some went via traditional and social media with their support.

Bruce/Caitlyn's pain which caused the change doesn't matter.  Her current psychological makeup doesn't matter.  What only matters is that we all need to  celebrate and support, and the louder the better. 

Nothing is more important than to appear to be more tolerant than thou.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Wonders of a Shower Beer

There's a new trend circulating out there about the benefits of having an icy cold beer in a hot, hot shower.  

Please.  I've been doing this since college.  In fact, while very infrequent, I still enjoy a good shower beer.

And who wouldn't?  After a long day or a longer workout, nothing feels better than a long, hot shower, and nothing tastes better than a favorite lager or IPA.  When combined they become the stuff of luxury.

Or at least the stuff of a Reddit page (careful - some photos NSFW).

So the next time you have one of those days where the bear eats you, crank up the shower, crack open a cold one, and just see if your life doesn't get appreciably better. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Who is the Best Team in the American League?

The Minnesota Twins.

Yep, you heard that right.  At the close of Sunday's action, the Twins, with their .612 winning percentage sit atop all of the American League.

Led by second baseman Brian Dozier, who seems to lead off just about every game with an extra base hit, this team is ridiculously fun to watch.  There was bad news, though, as starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco had to leave the game early due to an ankle sprain.  Hopefully he'll be able to not miss too many starts, if any.

In the meantime, the Twins will take on the Red Sox again; a team they swept last week at Target Field.  This time they'll be at Fenway, but still, the way these guys are playing, you have to like our odds.

And you really have to like the after-victory dance party

Win, Twins!