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!!!!”