Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fascinating Discussion on Millennials

The snippet below is a fascinating discussion on millennials - who they are, and that makes them tick.  As someone that leads a number of them, I found this to be quite enlightening.  

There were some good solid take-aways for me as well.  The rule about no phones in the conference room is as brilliant as it is simple.  

What a better world we'd have it we just talked to each other for a change.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cop Gives Warning, Tie Lesson

We've all been pulled over by that cop with an attitude.  OK, maybe it is just me.  Regardless, this cop has a different kind of attitude.  One I think all of us would wish was contagious:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Recap

It has been a whirlwind of a past two weeks, which has also resulted in the dearth of my writing.  It actually started right after Thanksgiving with the craziness that is a career in retail, which afforded scant amounts of free time for much other than work.  We were then able to celebrate a fantastic family wedding in New Orleans, which is my favorite town in the whole world.  Combine to all the that the hustle of trying to be in three different places over Christmas break, plus a winter storm or two for good measure, and the recipe starts to taste lousy.

Don't get me wrong - I absolutely loved all of my experiences.  However, they all came at a price.  For example, for the first year of my 52 years on this world I didn't have a Christmas tree.  There just wasn't time.  I also didn't create or send any Christmas cards.  Just no time.

I still have some presents yet to create and send, we still have an upcoming trip, and work shows absolutely no signs of slowing.  Even after the fact, there is no Christmas down time.

Despite this, I was able to spend good quaily time with the people that mean the most to me, and ultimately I could want for nothing more than that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Left Talks to "White Guys"

New from MTV is the following which is a blatant example of 1) racism run amuck on the left and 2) why Donald Trump won the election.

Keep digging, lefties.  You're almost to the bottom...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Saturday Song Share: Madness - One Step Beyond

My favorte ska band on a Saturday.

"Don't watch that, watch this!"

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Welcome Mat

Today we fly off to our favorite city in the world - New Orleans.  While there, we'll eat incredible food, enjoy the warm temperatures (while a blizzard rages at home), walk a ton, listen to a bunch of great music, and spend some quality time with family.  It will be a powerful tonic for one exhausted by a career in retail here at the end of the holiday period.

We'll engage with a bunch of people both like us and different from us, and that is something that is nearly uniquely New Orleans.  The city itself was molded via so many influences, but each melted into each other and left commonality - a love of music, food, sports, religion.

Can the same be said about other great cities of the world?  Will one be welcomed as an outsider from "flyover country" in non-tourist confines of San Francisco?  Or New York?  Or Paris?  No.  We're divided as a country as we've never been since the segregated south.  The sad part?  We're segregating ourselves based on our politics.


Thus, give me New Orleans.  Give me a big ass beer, a second line parade, Cajun music, crawfish etouffee, hockey and football on the big screen, and the Eucharist at mass.  I'll love it and take it all in with brothers and sisters - all different from me, but sharing the same love.

Indeed.  Give me New Orleans.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

More Sexual Misconduct by a Teacher Involving Kids

The StarTribune reports this morning that the principal of Chanhassen Highschool was arrested due to a child pornography sting.  Stories like these are getting all too common.  It seems we can go just a couple of days and up pops another allegation of a teacher engaging in sexual conduct with kids.

When you think about it, it makes sense.  If one has a proclivity for sexual attraction for children, what better role for you than one in which you work with them, all day, every day?  If you're a wolf, why not go where the sheep are plentiful?

What I don't understand is that there is absolutely no backlash to these myriad incidents, let alone recognition that there is a problem.  Unlike the Catholic Church which is still being exonerated due to actions of predator priests, teachers are still held up on some pedestal.  I'd argue that it is because the left, which owns a monopoly on the media, also owns a similar monopoly on education.  Hence, these stories continue to be reported on a weekly basis (they can't be swept away), yet nobody ever connects the dots.

Pay attention going forward, and see if I'm right.  We have a problem with teachers putting our kids at risk, and nobody is doing or saying anything about it. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fake Outrage on the Election "Hack"

The left is whipped up into an orgy of outrage over the presidential election results.  With their worldview, they can't even consider that any kind of vote result could have prevented Clinton from not being president, so they conjure up images of vast amounts of "alt-rights" motivated to vote for the first time, and Russian spies taking over our electoral system.

What folly!  All of this outrage, derived from a group that felt (and still feels) that Clinton having a server filled with national secrets in her basement is no big deal.  Hey, liberals, either security matters or it doesn't.  Pick one and go with it.  

As for blaming the Russians, things get even richer.  Let me help by paraphrasing President Obama from the 2012 elections: "The 1980's called, and they want their conspiracy theories back."  

Hopefully, we'll be running out of straws to grasp here shortly, and we can finally move on to "acceptance."

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Snowmobile in St. Paul

From the folks at Red Bull comes a ride through the capital of our home state.  It's just not a ride that you'd expect.  Jaw dropping, with a bunch of hometown imagery thrown in for good measure:

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Fallacy of 9 to 5

A recruiter I respect very much just penned an article that admonished a client company for rejecting a candidate that had a side job.  "We want our hires focused completely on our business," was the reply from the company.  The recruiter stated that if a person has a true passion; one that bleeds over into the time beyond the 9 to 5, and there wasn't a competitive component to it, why would the employer care?

Simple.  There is no such thing as 9 to 5, especially in the Midwest.

8 to 5 are "core" hours for every company I know, and it gets worse from there.  At my current employer, I'm expected to be "butt in the seat" by 7:00AM and will garner nasty glances for any departure that doesn't occur after 6:00PM.  

Those are just starter hours.  Given workloads and priorities, the work day can and often has been much, much longer than that.  Also, at least six hours over the weekend is part of our culture.  Finally, since I've been issued a company phone, I'm expected to be on-call basically 24 hours a day, and those texts and calls come at a level that is all too frequent.

Granted, the culture at the place I work isn't the norm, but for companies in the Midwest, a certain "work ethic" is expected.  That work ethic translates into leaving zero time for any other job.

9 to 5?  That's only a part of a full work day.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Perspectives from Confession

For me, going to confession is like going for a long, long run when I haven't in a while.  I hate the thought of going through it, yet I know it is something that I really need to do.  And afterwards, when it is all over, I feel so much better and wonder why I had been putting off going for so long.

Our parish just started with Tuesday night mass, and since Tuesdays are my worst work days, it has been a blessing.  Knowing that I'll be able to leave at a designated time to get there, take the eucharist and finish a usually horrific day on a high note helps not only get through the day, but through the week.  

As part of the Tuesday evening events, our priest started hearing confessions ahead of mass.  Since it had been over a year from my last reconciliation, I was way overdue.  

I carry my sin hard.  Every slight, wrong, and thing I've done weighs on me.  I go over and over it in my head, often to the point of beating myself up.  As I was wading through my litany of sins with my priest, he must have picked up on it, as for my penance I received three Hail Marys, and to meditate on seeing myself as God sees me.


Do we ever do that?  Do we ever stand back and look at ourselves the way that God looks at us?  If we ever did, I know we'd treat ourselves a heck of a lot better.  

God absolutely and unequivocally loves us.  At our highest or lowest, it matters not.  He just loves us.  So, then, if God can unfailingly love the imperfect, failing, bumbling, stupid version of us, why shouldn't we?  And if we can't get all the way there, perhaps we could start with cutting ourselves a little slack.  

I need to go to confession more often.      

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

Burger King Tots

If you're relaunching tots, who better to do it than Napolean and Pedro:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Who are We Cheering?

I’m a runner. While you won’t be able to tell it by looking at me, I am, and while I’ve only logged 5k’s and have never run over six miles in my life, I have enough worn-out pairs of shoes in my closet to qualify. 

There is a common bond with runners, be they ultra-marathoners or simple weekend milers: When we meet on the road, we offer up a wave or a nod, and an unspoken. “We could be on the couch, but we’re not, damn it – good for us!” 

Those little moments can be quite uplifting, especially when one considers the internal dialog most runners endure. A good friend that has five times more Boston finishes than I have fun-run finishes calls it “the monster.” The monster starts off speaking softly, and saying things like “My ankle kind of hurts, I better back off,” “I’ll never be able to reach my distance so I should just quit right now,” and “Boy, this hill is steep – maybe I’ll just walk up it.” If one has fought the monster off beyond that, the voice gets louder and more adamant, and eventually starts using the word “STOP.” While I’ve always tapped out before it got bad enough, my buddy tells me that during marathons, the monster screams “STOP! STOP RIGHT NOW! YOU HAVE TO STOP RIGHT NOW!” over and over and over.

Maybe that’s why runners offer their support, regardless of who they see on the road. Be it loud or soft, they know there is a dialog going on with the monster.

Two weekends ago, I was at mile mark 2.5 of a scheduled 3-mile run, and while I felt I was doing OK, I was headed to my finishing hill, and was debating the benefits of calling it at two and a half and just walking that final hill. That’s when I heard this massive “WOOOOOOOO!!!!” which flooded my ears despite the Metallica playing in my headphones. Looking up, I saw a group of four high school runners in a driveway, getting ready for their run. They saw me, a complete stranger but a brother runner, and hollered out their support with a shout and claps. 

It made all the difference in the world. While I certainly missed any kind of personal records, I flew up that final hill like my feet had wings.

The same applies for us at work. There are a lot of us that are having a dialog with the monster during our work days. It might be about something professional, or it might be about something personal. The dialog could be very quiet, or it could be happening at scream levels. Regardless, many around us are wrestling with something, and a simple display of encouragement could make a massive amount of difference. 

The support might be in the form of a complimentary note, or a call-out in a meeting, or even something as clich├ęd as a well-timed fist bump, but it ultimately works to encourage folks to keep going and keep pushing. For those of us fortunate enough to have received such sentiments in the middle of a rough period, you know their value. 

And the cost for this redeeming elixir?  Less than a minute of our time.

Think about that as we head through our day today, and consider who out there might be in dire need of a well-timed “WOOOOOOOO!!!!”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

OK Go - The One Moment

This is out there all over the place, but in the event you've not seen it, it is worth the view.

These guys to make incredible music videos:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Somali Immigrant on Murderous Spree at The Ohio State University

Another incident in which a nice, peaceful immigrant went a little askew occurred again yesterday.  His plan of mowing down people in his car after pulling the fire alarm was ingenious, but resulted in not nearly enough infidel deaths.  However, we shouldn't worry, as this was undoubtedly an isolated incident, and Islam is a religion of peace.

We pretty much knew right away that this was Islamic terrorism once the story broke, didn't we?  Any time there is a story of this magnitude, but one in which the perp is not immediately described, much less named, you can pretty much guarantee that a guy screaming " allahu akbar" will ultimately be the guy behind it.  That certainly was the case in the "breaking" news yesterday.

When are we going to call Islam what it is - a religion not of peace, but of brutality, death, and subjugation?

Monday, November 28, 2016

How Good Are the Gophers in Basketball? We're About to Find Out

The latest iteration of the Gophers men's basketball team appears, on paper, to be a sea change from previous seasons.  Refreshed by a youthful team (we're starting two freshmen, and zero seniors), the team has hustled and shot its way to a perfect 6-0.

Unfortunately, they've done it against dubious competition.  They've also done it in the friendly confines of Williams Arena.

Tonight, our boys head down to Florida State to face a strong Seminole crew that was ranked in the top 25 last week.  While the competition is not as tough as some that will be faced in the Big 10, the Seminoles represent the best test yet this season of how good these Gophers truly are.

Regardless of the outcome, up to now it has been an entertaining season.  This team plays hard - really hard.  Amir Coffey is the real deal, and has flat dominated some games as a true freshman.  Finally, Richard Pitino appears to have a team that is executing to his program's expectations.

We'll see tonight if it is real or a mirage.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thoughts on the Recount

On its face, the call for the recount by the irrelevant Green party (which has subsequently been joined by the Democrats) seems so pointless.  Nothing will be found, yet millions will be spent, and the seed of "the election was stolen" will continue to germinate.  All it is doing is to continue to divide the country and move things further along the stages of grief.

The five stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with loss.  For liberals, there is no bigger loss than the one they suffered on election day when a shoo-in candidate was trounced by a blowhard amateur. 

We've seen these stages play themselves out on our social media pages and in our streets.  Anger has been all the rage (please forgive the pun), and the move to recount seems like we're firmly moving to the bargaining stage.  

Will the count help our country heal?  Not by a long shot.  Living in Wisconsin, we've seen what a protracted attack against a legal election can do to a populace.  The recall attempt on Governor Walker drove a wedge in this state that still has ripple effects, up to and including flipping the state to Republican during the presidential election.

Yet the liberals will not learn.  They're doubling down on the wedge.  Instead of trying to win at changing hearts and minds through dialog and conduct, they're clinging to conspiracy theories and anything that could possibly explain how in the world Hillary could have been beaten by him.

We're a long way away from acceptance, and I fear for what our country will have to endure to get there.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Grain Belt Premium Beer Song

This one is for my buddy Fuzzy:

And there's another:

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

There is so much to be thankful for that it is hard to begin.  It is easy to get distracted with nuances in life which, while important to us, matter not to 99% of the human population with whom we share this planet.  We truly want for nothing here, in the truest sense of that statement.  

God has indeed shed His grace on thee, America.  Let's take some time to realize that, and be truly thankful for all we have.

And as long as we're there, I'm thankful for all of you.  Thanks for your readership.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Musicians that Died in 2016

David Bowie.  Glenn Frey.  Maurice White.  Leonard Cohen.  Leon Russell.  Prince.  Now Sharon Jones.

Enough already.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Tolerant Left

I've actually seen a couple of screeds like this in my Facebook feed:

Bigot is an easy word to say, but a tough one to consider for oneself.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fire Brian Kelly

I know that Brian Kelly has restored the football program to levels that Notre Dame has not seen since Lou Holtz.  I get it.  But something has turned with this program.  Mental mistakes abound.  Players don't play hard.  Plays are called which have zero chance of achieving what they need to achieve.  Penalties are everywhere.  As a result, the Irish flat suck this year.

That is hard to write, but true: The Irish flat suck.

Behind it all stands a red-faced, yelling Brian Kelly, and despite all that yelling and scowling are the players that aren't playing for him or the program anymore.  Hence, it is now time for Kelly to go, especially with a coach like Les Miles looking for a job.

Fire Kelly.  Hire Miles.

That actually felt good to write... 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Every TED Talk, Ever

This parody is completely on the mark:

*humble head nod*

Hat-Tip: My bro

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mike Rowe Posts on the Election

Mike Rowe, the host of TV's great Dirty Jobs, made the most insightful post about the election that I have read.

I post it here, in its entirety as I believe it to be that good:

Hi Carol

Last Friday, my dog posted a video that featured a man licking a cat with the aid of a device that’s designed for the specific purpose of making it easier for people to lick their cats.I’ve been silent ever since, because frankly, I couldn’t think of a better way – metaphorical or otherwise - to express my feelings about this election cycle. The entire country it seems, has been preoccupied with finding a way to lick a cat without actually putting their tongue on it.

Too oblique? Too weird? Ok, how about this analysis:

Back in 2003, a very unusual TV pilot called Dirty Jobs, Forrest-Gumped its way onto The Discovery Channel and found an audience – a big one. For Discovery, this was a problem. You see, Dirty Jobs didn’t look like anything else on their channel. It wasn’t pretty or careful. It took place in sewers and septic tanks, and featured a subversive host in close contact with his 8-year old inner child who refused to do second takes. Everyone agreed that Dirty Jobs was totally “off-brand” and completely inappropriate for Discovery. Everyone but the viewers. The ratings were just too big to ignore, so the pilot got a green-light, and yours truly finally got a steady gig.

But here's the thing - Dirty Jobs didn’t resonate because the host was incredibly charming. It wasn’t a hit because it was gross, or irreverent, or funny, or silly, or smart, or terribly clever. Dirty Jobs succeeded because it was authentic. It spoke directly and candidly to a big chunk of the country that non-fiction networks had been completely ignoring. In a very simple way, Dirty Jobs said “Hey - we can see you,” to millions of regular people who had started to feel invisible. Ultimately, that’s why Dirty Jobs ran for eight seasons. And today, that’s also why Donald Trump is the President of the United States.

I know people are freaked out, Carol. I get it. I’m worried too. But not because of who we elected. We've survived 44 Presidents, and we'll survive this one too. I’m worried because millions of people now seem to believe that Trump supporters are racist, xenophobic, and uneducated misogynists. I'm worried because despising our candidates publicly is very different than despising the people who vote for them.

Last week, three old friends – people I’ve known for years - each requested to be “unfriended” by anyone who planned on voting for Trump. Honestly, that was disheartening. Who tosses away a friendship over an election? Are my friends turning into those mind-numbingly arrogant celebrities who threaten to move to another country if their candidate doesn’t win? Are my friends now convinced that people they’ve known for years who happen to disagree with them politically are not merely mistaken – but evil, and no longer worthy of their friendship?

For what it’s worth, Carol, I don’t think Donald Trump won by tapping into America’s “racist underbelly,” and I don’t think Hillary lost because she’s a woman. I think a majority of people who voted in this election did so in spite of their many misgivings about the character of both candidates. That’s why it’s very dangerous to argue that Clinton supporters condone lying under oath and obstructing justice. Just as it’s equally dangerous to suggest a Trump supporter condones gross generalizations about foreigners and women.

These two candidates were the choices we gave ourselves, and each came with a heaping helping of vulgarity and impropriety. Yeah, it was dirty job for sure, but the winner was NOT decided by a racist and craven nation – it was decided by millions of disgusted Americans desperate for real change. The people did not want a politician. The people wanted to be seen. Donald Trump convinced those people that he could see them. Hillary Clinton did not.
As for me, I’m flattered by your support, but grateful that your vote was not enough to push me over the top. However, when the dust settles, and The White House gets a new tenant, I’ll make the same offer to President Trump that I did to President Obama – to assist as best I can in any attempt to reinvigorate the skilled trades, and shine a light on millions of good jobs that no one seems excited about pursuing.

Like those 3 million “shovel ready” jobs we heard so much about eight years ago, the kind of recovery that Donald Trump is promising will require a workforce that’s properly trained and sufficiently enthused about the opportunities at hand. At the moment, we do not have that work force in place. What we do have, are tens of millions of capable people who have simply stopped looking for work, and millions of available jobs that no one aspires to do. That's the skills gap, and it's gotta close. If mikeroweWORKS can help, we're standing by.
If not, I suppose we'll just have to find another way to lick the cat.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Want A Longer, Healthier Life? Go to Church

In a recent article published in the USA Today, a number of sources were cited which showed those that attended church regularly lived longer and with a better sense of meaning.  

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.  We all know examples of people in our lives who are deeply steeped in their religious life and how that overflows into their approach of their broader lives.  They're peaceful, happier, and I'd even go so far as to say more blessed than their non-religious counterparts.

Personally, church for me has become a haven.  In a life that feels hectic, harmful, and painful, that weekly church service has proved a bastion of peace, calm, and perspective.  Indeed, it forces a reflection on the bigger picture, and what is truly important.  That "adjustment" always leads to a calm and a comfort.

Good for one's mental health and overall health as well?  Sign me up.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Song Share: Vince Gill - Go Rest High on the Mountain

I hadn't heard this song before it was played at my uncle's funeral.  What a shame.  Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Voter ID and What Liberals Really Think

We've known what Liberals really think about race for a good, long while now.  This makes it really damned clear:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Polls Lie, Trump Wins

If one listened to the polls throughout this campaign season, Trump's win was either a stunning upset or completed by way of Russian hackers.  However, consider Wisconsin, the state from which I write this blog.  Here, Trump signs outnumbered Hillary signs by an easy 10 to 1 (note, I'm not in an urban part of the state, and my commutes through it are through rural sections).  Despite this, pollsters and pundits had this state as a landslide for Hillary.

They lied.

The candidates knew the state was in play, and that's why they spent so much time and money here; media polls be damned.

So why the lie?  Was it to disenfranchise Trump supporters so that they'd stay home on election night?  Was it to make them feel like insignificant outsiders?  Perhaps we'll never know.  All we do know was that data that was being reported in no way reflected the behavior we saw on election night.

Hillary "had" a double digit poll lead two weeks ago.  This morning, she rides off into the sunset.  The pollsters, I'm sure, will keep their jobs.  Hillary?  Not so much.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Just Vote

I know you don't want to, but just vote today.  I know both candidates are so wildly flawed that it is stomach-turning.  I know that your faith in the political process has been pushed to its limits.  I know you've likely had moments that make you wonder why it matters anyway.

Still, just vote.

The down tickets need you.  The senate is clearly in play, and multiple individual candidates' political lives are on a razor-thin edge.  

Likewise, a wise man once told me that if you didn't vote, then you didn't have the right to bitch.  And bitching, ladies and gentlemen, is what we are going to be doing a lot of in the coming four years.

So buck up, get out there, and vote.

See you at the polls.

Monday, November 7, 2016

You Can Never Have Enough Friends

At the celebration of my uncle's life last week, stories were shared about his massive personality.  A couple of his common catch-phases were shared, and "you can never have enough friends" was one of them.

What a wonderful way to go through life.

As I age, it seems harder and harder to have friends, and compared to the amount that I had when I was younger, my current list of friends is a mere fraction.  There are a lot of reasons for this.  We moved away from our home.  My job has me as a leader, which limits the amount of peers with whom I can socialize.  That same job requires massive hours, which eliminates much free time for socializing.  Our neighborhood is not at all conducive to being neighborly.  I could go on.

The bottom line?  If a crisis occurred, and I needed immediate emergency help from a friend, there is pretty much nobody here where we live whom I could call.  Nobody.

Pretty sad state of affairs, no?

That's why my uncle's catch phrase is so remarkable.  Life is better and easier the more friends one has.  

Simple stuff, but with profound results.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Proving God's Existence

Last week Fr. Don had a fabulous post about how we as Christians can somehow be mired in the need to be apologists and to prove God exists; especially in those instances where the conversation turns emotional and heated.

In his very learned style, Fr. Don asks us to consider if it matters, and offers a different approach:

In the long run we point to God's existence and goodness better by how we live and act than by how we argue. Honing our arguments for God's existence is much less important than echoing God's love in what we do and say.

Differently said, and to take liberties with the old church stand-by:

They will know God's existence by our love
By our love
Yes, they'll know God's existence by our love

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Saturday Song Share: The Cult - Fire Woman

Great combination of song and band.  Rocks in way more ways than you can count.

Turn it up:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Gaelin Elmore - How a Community Helped Build a Man

Here is a great story.  It is one that could have headed a lot of different directions - most of them very bad.  See for yourself how it shakes out:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hitler Finds Out the FBI Reopened the Investigation

I know the Hitler videos have really run their course, but this one is pretty darned rich.


Monday, October 31, 2016

Hillary in Trouble

The one thing that is consistent with the Clintons is scandal.  It follows them around like a little puppy, and every couple of months comes up and bites them.  It has been that way for most of their public life.  

Despite the multitude of infamous transgressions, with few exceptions, nothing has really stuck.  This time, though, the timing of the scandal, how it broke, and the fact that it is not being summarily swept under the run by a sycophantic media has Hillary in a tailspin.  Her poll numbers have been falling even before Carlos Danger's computer put the former Secretary of State at risk, and now given the latest, she's stumbling like, well, like Hillary Clinton walking up a flight of stairs.

This is a bad person.  She's a criminal, she has no moral compass, and she seeks only personal financial gain and power.  She epitomizes EVERYTHING the Left claims to hate about republicans.  

Think about that for a minute.

If there was an (R) behind her name, she'd be evil incarnate.  Yet, given that (D), transgressions are ignored, forgiven, or sometimes accepted by many.

But not all.  Some will walk from her.  How many, and if it will be enough to turn an election remains to be seen.  But ultimately, Hillary is in trouble.  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ache for the Cubs

I have a special place in my heart for the Cubs.  It started in high school, where we'd be able to watch WGN on our newly installed cable at home, and were able to partake in all of those mid-day baseball games over summer vacations.  Then, as I moved on to college, I had a number of buddies from the Chicago area, and their palpable love of the Cubs was infectious (especially with the Twins absolutely horrible at the time).

Since then, I've likely been to a dozen games at Wrigley Field.  I've bent many an elbow at Murphy's and the Cubby Bear (Murphy's is better).  I've even attended a game at one of the vaunted houses across the street from Wrigley.

I've attended these games with folks I love - my parents, my friends, and my wife.  I even got a ball handed to me by Eddie Guardado from the Twins during one of the first games the Twins ever played there.  Wrigley, and the Cubs, will always be very special to me.

I've felt the Cubs' fans' pain with their lack of a title.  I certainly don't know the depth of it, but I've felt the sting.  And this year appeared to be the year when the stars aligned and the curse would finally be lifted.

Now with the Cubs' backs against the wall, it will take a miracle.  However, baseball is a game of miracles, so you know there's always a chance, albeit a very slim one.  

No, it doesn't look good for the Cubbies.  

At least there hasn't been any fan interference...

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Can We Admit Hillary's Health is Not OK?

Here is the latest video showing the presumptive next US president barely able to climb the stairs up to her plane.  Yep, she's in heels.  Yep, it's wet.  That still doesn't justify the slow, deliberate movements and the death grip on the hand rails (especially after she's completed the steps).

Don't tell me this woman is physically OK.  She's far from it:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Bruce Springsteen Top 5

One of my favorite writers, Joe Posnanski, recently penned a blog on his top 5 Springsteen songs, and for someone that I respect so much, personally I felt it was kind of weak.  Here was his list:

  • Born to Run - OK, but obvious
  • The Promise - A little less than OK.  Top 5?  Really?
  • Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) - Worthy.  Nearly made my top 5
  • You're Missing  - From The Rising.  Frankly, I can't listen to the song without crying.  That's why I don't own it, and don't want to
  • Badlands - OK as well

The beauty of Springsteen is not only the breadth of his catalog, but also the breadth of musical styles, song types, stories told, etc.  There is so much there for one to choose, that it makes it incredibly hard to come up with a top 20, much less a top 5.  That being said, here's my effort:

1) Prove it All Night - My wife will attest that every time this song comes on, I will sing along to it - regardless of my mood, if I'd been singing previously, or if we were in the middle of a conversation.  I also always whistle along to the sax solo.

2) Spirit in the Night - So smoky, so innovative, so different.  It is too bad Manford Mann covered it because the song is so stark and solid that it never should have been touched.  Great on so many levels

3) Atlantic City - The crown jewel from one of his best albums.  

4) Darlington County - I know this is kind of a cutesy song.  I don't care.  I absolutely love the story of the singer and Wayne trying to pick up girls in Darlington County.  And I absolutely love the end of the song:

Ain't seen my buddy in seven days
County man tells me the same thing
He don't work, he don't get paid...

...Driving out of Darlington County
I've seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
Driving out of Darlington County
See Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper's Ford

5) The Price You Pay - The end of the song, between the lyrics and the harmonies, make this great one to finish the list.  

And, girl, before the end of the day
I'm going to tear it down and throw it away

Post up - where did I screw this list up?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ben Stein in Political Commercial

Reprising his famous scene, Stein is taking role.  Where is Judge?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

RIP Uncle Jim

This blog has lost one of its biggest fans.

My Uncle Jim was a rabid reader of this blog, and a frequent contributor.  It started with one of my earliest blog posts about the closing of Al's Bar in St. Louis Park back in 2009 (hard to believe I've been at this for 17 years).  Since then, he's often penned me a note about what a post meant to him, and how much he appreciated my writing.

He had a huge personality, and a huge heart, and the cliche totally applies that "they just don't make 'em like that anymore."

Rest in peace, Uncle Jim.  Thank you for making this blog, and my life, all the more rich.  

Now move along.  I have a feeling there is a guy with a cocktail and a cribbage board who has been waiting for you.

Give him a hug for me.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Stillwater Choir - Concert in a Pool

Last spring the Concert Choir from Stillwater High School was on a road trip, and was spending time chilling out at their hotel's pool.  In fairly short order, somebody figured out that the acoustics of the pool room were incredible, so the choir did what choirs do.

Here's what it sounded like:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Racist Cop in Edina?

The internet's latest moment of mass outrage occurred recently when a police officer in Edina, Minnesota arrested a man "for walking in the street."

 Here is the video.  Trigger warning for those that feel that listening to a cop doesn't need to apply to them:

So what did the video show?  A couple of things:

  • An incredibly unruly suspect that came mere inches from striking an officer
  • A flaming liberal videographer that was stoking the fire
  • A remarkably professional police officer maintaining his cool when the suspect was pushing him to escalate
Turns out, I personally know the cop.  I went to high school with him.  Through a mutual friend, I shot him a text, and said the following:

"Just watched the video and wanted to compliment you on a job well done.  Maintaining your professionalism and cool in those circumstances is amazing.  Hell of a job.  You made us proud.  Hope you're well.  Stay safe out there, and thank you."

If I were in that circumstance, there is no way I wouldn't have gone upside the suspect's head.  That has nothing to do with race, folks, and has everything to do with the suspect being a total idiot.

Cops have a tough enough job.  It is made worse by those that see every interaction with the police as being overt racist incidents.

Racist cop in Edina?  Like hell.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dogs on the Inside

This project makes so much sense.

Once expanded, hopefully prison stops becoming a place of punishment, and turns into a place of reclamation, restoration, and restitution.

Hat-tip to my brother:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Election Gender Gap

From our friends over at FiveThirtyEight comes a really incredible analysis of the differences between the genders as it pertains to politics:

Turns out John Edwards was right - there really are two Americas.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Debate Unwatchable

We love our politics here at YDP.   Unfortunately, this election cycle has been a challenge.  The two candidates that have been selected for president are the most repugnant that we've every been provided.  Neither is qualified or capable, and both have massive personal flaws.  

As the debate kicked off, my wife and I settled in to watch.  We lasted less than five minutes.  What we witnessed was unwatchable.  We watched one candidate avoid the question asked and move into scripted talking points.  We watched another barely able to put together a cogent thought.  

It was brutal.  And it was the first five minutes.

We flipped to the NFL game, just like, I suspect, most of America.

When the Green Bay Packers are a better choice than a presidential debate, we're screwed.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Vikings Currently Best Team in NFC

With their prime-time destruction of the New York Giants behind them, the Minnesota Vikings made one thing very clear to the rest of the league - that they're currently the cream of the NFC.

In three straight weeks, this team rendered moot Aaron Rogers, Cam Newton, and Eli Manning and the four Super Bowl rings they share.  The Vikes also put up enough points to ensure victory each time.

Are they perfect?  No.  Blair Walsh is not a confident kicker, and as such is not a good kickers.  He can't be counted on to win games, and there likely will be a future situation in which he costs them a win.  However, they're pretty darned close to perfect.  They're getting contributions from pretty much everyone, aren't turning the ball over, aren't taking many penalties at all, and have continued to drive forward despite the loss of their starting QB and former MVP RB.

Mike Zimmer is showing himself as one special coach - a man that gets the most out of his staff, and of his team.  This team totally reflects that.

Enjoy the ride, Purple Faithful.  It sure looks like these are special times.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Birthday Blues

I've really struggled with my birthdays, and this year is no different.  The armchair psychologist in me thinks that the date manifests a review of the passing of time, and an audit of what has transpired.  That audit always comes up lacking.  I feel like I'm not where I should be be in my life.  My achievements seem scant, my happiness lacking, my satisfaction of who I am as husband, son, uncle, brother, boss, etc. non-existent.

It is really kind of crummy.  

It always gets better.  As I hear from loved ones, the day comes around a little.  Likewise, I hold out hope for something like this.  

Still, it's not the happy day that one would think it should be.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tax Situation to Doom Trump

Yesterday, the New York Times broke a story that Trump declared nearly $1B in losses on his 1995 tax return, enabling him to carry the losses over and avoid paying taxes for 18 years.  Progressives are howling, and this ultimately will doom Trump.  And shame on Trump.  He had to know this would come to light and it would disqualify his candidacy.  Hence, he's just handed the election to Hillary.


In the meantime, sanctimonious liberals are absolutely beside themselves with glee.  Rightfully so - they basically just won the election.  Interesting, though, that one person's legal activity can render him unfit for the presidency, whereas another's completely criminal activity are summarily ignored and considered irrelevant.  

A note to you liberals - your candidate is dirty as hell, and you'll need to own that and all that it means now, and in the future. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Church as a Field Hospital

Some great insight from Pope Francis, via our friend Father Don:

The Bishop of Rome (Francis) received very favorable reaction to an interview given in August, 2013. One line resonates with many: "I see the church as a field hospital after battle." A recognition that we all have been wounded or at least have wounds from "the slings and arrows" of life. We need healing, a work for both Word and Sacrament, for the touch of the Lord who loves us. Ordinarily that love comes to us through another human being’s compassion and sympathetic understanding. An often used prayer entitled "Hail, Holy Queen" has a line about "poor, banished children of Eve". With little children this has often come across as "poor, bandaged children of Eve", an unwitting intuition of this truth! That certainly fits with "field hospital."

We are all engaged in either healing or wounding by how we interact with our fellow human beings, with those we live with or work with, with those we simply encounter randomly. It seems that developing a sensitivity to whether we are healing or wounding others takes time and experience, experience of successes and failures in our relations with others. Increased sensitivity and understanding of what it means to love our neighbor will require time and certainly requires prayer.

Happy Sunday

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Foster Child Wish List

I bumped into this last week.  Sure adds some perspective to life:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who Won Last Night's Debate?

In an event designed to help voters discern who they might want to have lead us as the new US President, last night's debate just clouded things.  Hillary came off as smug, cliched, and unlikable.  Trump came off as rambling, incoherent, and flighty.  Neither forwarded their cause, and neither ended up convincing anyone that might have been on the fence.

The state of politics in US right now is a damned ugly picture.

So who won last night's debate?  I don't know.  I'd argue that is in the eye of the beholder.

But I also do know who lost, and that is our country.  Either one of these choices will be a train wreck as President.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

What Happened to My Duck Hunting Passion?

I used to live to duck hunt.  I'd be gone every weekend, starting with early goose season at Labor Day weekend, and I'd go all the way to freeze up sometime around Thanksgiving.  I was obsessed by it, and thoroughly enjoyed my time at camp.  Even if the birds weren't flying, it was a great time.

Moving 6 hours away has changed things.  Getting up there is more and more difficult, and given my job, my free time is getting less and less.  Unfortunately, weekends have become the time I can use to get caught up at work, and if I don't at least spend some time over the weekend working, I get further and further behind.  

Ditto sleep.  The weekend is when I can finally get a precious eight consecutive hours of sleep.  With hunting, when you throw driving 12 hours and getting up two hours before sunrise, there's not a lot of sleep to be had at duck camp.

Perhaps that is the reason why I feel the way I do.  I just think about all that unproductive driving and the exhaustion I'll have going into the week, and a tough situation at work gets even tougher.  

Not sure what to do with all of this, but when duck hunting isn't tripping my trigger anymore, I think that's a sign of some kind.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday Song Share: Faith No More - Epic

One of the weirder videos from the 90's.  A rocking song that has aged well.

The video?  Eh, not so much...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Last 9/11 Search Dog Laid to Rest

Nearly 15 years after the horrific attack in New York, the last surviving search dog was put down in June.  

Dogs truly are amazing.

This has some creepy audio, but is a nice story nonetheless - 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Advice for My Niece on Her Sweet 16

Today marks the birthday of my beautiful, smart, talented niece.  It's a big one, too, as she turns sixteen.

I remember that age well.  It was tough, and given changes in our society, it's even more tough for today's kids.  Social media has put them on display and up for criticism 24/7.  Frankly, I have no idea how they get through it.

Based on years of learning the hard way, I'd like to impart some advice to her on her entry to adulthood:

  • We've been blessed in this family with a good gut.  Trust it.  It is going to be right most of the time, and most of the time you'll be very happy you did.
  • Know that you matter to so many people, and not just a little bit.  You matter a ton.  You may not feel that way, but you really, really do.  We care about you, we want to you to be a part of our lives, and we want to be a part of yours.  Please make time for it and we promise to do the same.
  • A sincere "I love you" simply cannot be said enough.  Ditto a sincere "I'm sorry."
  • The biggest choice you'll make in life is who you choose to love.  It matters on SO many levels, and is SO important.  Be choosy.  
  • Bacon rocks.  Leave plenty of room in your life for it.
  • The world is hard.  Damned hard.  There are way too many things that can pop up in which making the wrong choice can end in catastrophe.  This is real life, and there aren't any do-overs.  Be smart, even when all other signs are telling you not to be.
  • Your family loves you more that you can even begin to know.  If you think they don't, know you're wrong.  That goes doubly true for your parents.  Triply true for God.
  • Don't tolerate.  Life is way shorter than it feels like right now, and it is way too short to put up with dysfunction.  Moving on from crappy circumstances (at work, in relationships, etc.) always, always, always leads to better things.
  • If you're not really laughing, you're not really living.
  • Find reasons to go outside.  Walk, run, play sports, fish, ride bikes or horses, anything.  God's creation will fill your soul if you let it.
  • Be a passionate fan of something.  Anything.  It's fun, and you'll always have something fun to share.
  • A good nap is better than money.
  • While the world might be telling you you're an idiot for thinking so, know that God is real.  He truly is.  He also listens.  Talk to Him - a lot.
Happy birthday, Kitty Cat.  I love you more than I can say.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What a Friend We Have in Muslims

This was the homepage of Sunday's StarTribune website:

Story after story.  And this from an entity that bends over backwards to not shine a light on Islamic extremism (ala Mayor de Blasio in the article above).

What is happening in my home state?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hillary Low Energy

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with Hillary?  She looks, at worst, sick, and at best, in dire need of a long nap.

Her leadership optics are horrible:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Vikings Chant

I turned down a chance to go the game tonight.  Work reasons kept me from it, but if not for work I would not have had the opportunity in the first place, so there you go.

I so, so, so wish I could be there to see the Vikings Chant in person


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday Song Share: Paul Westerberg - Dyslexic Heart

One from the great Paul Westerberg.

Do I date you?
Do I hate you?
I got a dyslexic heart

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Power of the Meaning of the Cross

From Fr. Don yesterday:

The cross is everywhere today. We see it on walls and in paintings, of course, hanging in churches and homes but also from the ears and necks of rock stars. We see it so often that it loses its impact. In Christianity we celebrate it, too, at every Eucharist and in special feasts and seasons. It's also present more concretely, even emotionally, in the ills and pains of human life. John says in his Gospel that Jesus had to be lifted up on the cross "that all who believe may have eternal life in him" (John 3:13-14). Not simply that we will have eternal life but we may have it now. Eternal life begins now, it is not only for the world to come. It shows itself in healing, renewal of our spirit, in hope and joy. The cross of Christ saves us from death and also helps us now.

If we take the time in our next sorrow, bad mood, disappointment, discouragement, anxiety, bitterness even, to look at the Lord on the cross, we can find it says a lot to us. It tells us, whether we are crushed by our own sorrow or that of others, that God's own son has shared human sorrow. Not only has He shared it, He is still with us in every pain and danger, assuring us that through the cross we come finally to victory and joy. The cross tells us that the poor, the suffering, the homeless and ill, the abandoned, have a brother, a fellow sufferer in the Lord. In a most special way the Lord is with us and we are close to Him when we must suffer or undergo any of the difficulties and pains we call the cross. Our sharing in the remembrance of the Lord's passion at His supper goes on outside the church building in the unavoidable pains of daily life. So that we have even now eternal life.

Sage words to remember when we are suffering, regardless if our woes are small or massive.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kevin Harlan Gives Play by Play for Drunk on the Field

Kevin Halan is one of the best announcers currently in the game.  Thus, when some idiot stormed onto the field, they play-by-play guy went to work:

Unfortunately, this call has kind of got a life of its own, hence I expect more of these episodes in our futures.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

9/11 Firefighter Tribute

Last Sunday, a woman working at a Planet Fitness posted this on her Facebook page:

While some guys are taking a knee, some are out there actually being example.

All without a national audience.