Friday, March 31, 2017

Chanhassen Principal - 10 More Counts of Child Porn

In Fuzzy's home town, the StarTribune is reporting that the former high school principal has been charged with an additional 10 counts of possessing child porn.  This highlights yet another example where teachers sure appear to be the leading sexual predators.

I'm creating a new label for these on this blog, as they need to be highlighted.  This is happening way, way too often.

Also, last week the StarTribune ran an article related to priest sexual abuse of a child, but they just so happened to leave the comments section up.  One could imagine what kind of comments it solicited.  

Funny, in all their stories of teachers abusing kids, I've never seen a comment section allowed.  Not once.

I pointed that out (via a comment) and lo and behold, the comment section disappeared.  Still, their bias was, and continues to be, obvious.

Note, I condone none of this.  Any person that sexualizes a child deserves more than I could ever describe here.  But let's not protect a profession that we hold on a pedestal while treating the church as a bastion of abuse.  

It's not.  

Schools?  I'm not sure... 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

In-Room Coffee Sucks

It seems no matter where you go, and no matter where you stay, one thing is constant in travel: the in-room coffee you will experience will taste like crap.

Why in the world is that?  Many times, places will even have some kind of gourmet offering like Starbucks or Wolfgang Puck, however even those come out tasting like the Folgers served in a church basement.

Perhaps it's the water in hotels.  Perhaps it's the machines themselves.  Regardless, the experience is ultimately and always unsatisfactory.


Next on the gripe list?  Hotel breakfasts!  Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Last Day Regrets?

I spent my last day at work in Minnesota; closing off some relationships and making sure they were adequately transferred over.  One of those relationships was with the Minnesota Vikings.

The photo is from a helmet that was sitting on their front desk when we checked in.  Of course, it had to be of my favorite player, Harrison Smith.

If you're a reader of this space, you likely know of my love for my favorite football team.  I'm a huge fan, and have been so for most of my life.  And to think that I was able to negotiate a massive million dollar win-win sponsorship with them as part of my job still seems surreal.  I can't believe how fortunate I was to be able to do that kind of work.

As we were walking through the stadium and I was able to see my work team's handiwork on full display, I felt a huge sense of pride.  I was immediately was struck by the thought, "What in the hell are you doing?  Why are you walking away from this?"

Almost as instantly, another voice was in my head and answering the question: "Because it's just not worth it."

Indeed, the stress, psychosis, abuse, and misalignment with my core values was so weighty that I'd walk away from doing things like being able to partner with my favorite sports team of all time.  

That seems a horrible shame, but quite telling at the same time.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

First Day Recap

Not sure how things could have gone much better for my first day at work.  Here are the activities of note:

  • My agenda was full all day, as it is for most of the week.  I've already got a lot to do, and I won't even be able to get to the work part until late today because...
  • My time has been spent in orientation.  It's incredibly thorough, and has already provided me a deep understanding of the company.
  • Even lunch was choreographed, and I had a lunch date with my boss and other leaders.
  • Speaking of my boss, she picked me up at 5 and drove me around town; pointing out things to know and places to go.
  • I was then taken to dinner by her and other leaders.
My day ended with one of the CEOs shooting me an email at 7 last night, confirming something we had been discussing earlier and reiterating to me how great it was to have me on their team.

I know I'm only a day into it, but after a couple of cultural nightmares in my past, this sure feels good. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Song for the Start of a New Job

You know that us here at YDP love the Foo Fighters, and consider them the last rock band still standing.  While I've already featured this song in a previous Saturday music post, I bumped into it recently, and felt it appropriate relative to the start of my new job today:

Oh sweet ignition be my fuse
You have no choice you have to choose
Bid farewell to yesterday
Say goodbye I'm on my way

But in the end we all
Come from what's come before 

So here...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wild Slide

After being one of the most dominant teams in the NHL for most of the season, the Wild have been in an absolute tailspin; losing 9 of their past 11 games.  Their losses haven't been flukes - they suck across all aspects of the game.

The most noticeable part of their poor game is their distinct lack of hustle.  This team got where it did via its speed and positioning.  Now, they're not fighting for pucks and they're easily shoved out from in front of the net.  It is gutless, ugly play.

They did enough early in the year to clinch a playoff birth last night, despite a brutal 4-2 loss against a poor Vancouver team, but make no mistake, without an 180-degree change, this team is going the way of the Gopher basketball and hockey teams and will be one and done in the post season.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Chuck Berry and Keith Richards - Nadine

Nobody influenced rock and roll more than Chuck Berry.  His riffs, use of the guitar solo, and stage presence are still being plagiarized to this day.  Deservedly so.  The man was a pioneer and a genius.  

He also passed away last week after a 90 year life, and while his corporal life may be ended, his musical life will continue to live on in perpetuity.  

To quote Bob Seger, "All Chuck's children are out there playin' his riffs..."

They will continue to do so.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fish Casting Drone

Can't make that long cast?  Still cast with two hands (right, Fuzzy)?  Can't get that lure in the perfect placement?  Just whip out your drone and get to catching that big one:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Outdoor Run Doesn't Stink

My schedule and the weather afforded a rare run outdoors on Monday morning this week.  It has been a while since I've been able to do so - last outdoor run was in Sedona a couple of weeks ago, and the hilliness of the area really made it a task.

I do enjoy the morning runs around here.  Typically, I'm out the door and on the road a little before 4:00AM, and as one would guess, I have the road to myself.  At this time of year, I'm out there well before the sunrise, so I'm often greeted with a nice moonscape and/or a sky of stars.  Ultimately I'll meet up with the guy delivering papers (he's about the only one I see), and I'm usually back and working on my first cup of coffee by 4:45.

Most of the time, I won't go when there's a chance for ice or frost on the ground, as it's just not worth the risk of injury, hence I'm pretty safe.  The only time I was in peril was a couple of months ago.  I was running down the road as something on my right which was moving caught my eye.  I turned to my right, and in the moonlight I could clearly make out the biggest skunk I had ever seen in my life running right at me.

He was making a beeline for the road, but at the same time some early-riser was in their car, also on my right (I run opposite of traffic) and he was making a beeline for the skunk.  Given speeds and trajectories, it looked like we were all going to meet each other.  That meant that the skunk would get hit, and spay everywhere (including me) or he'd make it just past the car, would be scared and pissed off, and would run right into me.  I had already begun to figure out how I would call into work to tell them I wouldn't be coming in as I had been sprayed by a giant-sized Pepe Le Pew as I was sure this wouldn't end well.  

As we all came together it looked for sure like the skunk would get hit, however by some miracle, he must have turned at the absolute last second because as the car passed, he was nowhere to be found.  

I still don't know what happened, and how he didn't get hit.  He just flat disappeared like Scotty beamed him up.  Regardless, I came out of the situation smelling like a rose.

Or at least smelling like a runner that didn't get sprayed by the biggest skunk in all of Wisconsin.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Sad State of Minnesota Sports

With our impending return to the state, Minnesota is suffering from sports futility.  How bad are things?  Let me count the ways:

  • Despite being one of the best teams in the NHL for much of the season, the Wild have backslid and now are looking up at Chicago in the rankings.  We'll make the playoffs, but our fate will be ended at the United Center, if we even make it that far
  • Despite having one of the best young teams on paper, the Twins will continue to suffer.  How bad is it?  Bung Ho Park has a good chance at making the club.  I'm not kidding.  This team is looking at another 100 loss season.
  • Despite a resurgent season the the Big Ten coach-of-the-year, the Gophers went one and done in the NCAA tournament as a 5 seed, losing to a 12.  Sure, they were impacted by injuries, but holy cow, Middle Tennessee?
  • Despite making multiple moves in free agency, the Vikings are not appreciably better.  Their offensive line, a massive need, was only upgraded slightly, and other adds have been marginal.  Likewise, losses of Mudderlyn and Patterson are going to hurt a whole lot.
  • Despite being located in The State of Hockey, the Gopher Hockey team continues to disappoint.  They did make the NCAA tournament, but as far as the Big Ten tourney went, they placed exactly zero players to the All Tournament Team.  One and done for them as well?
Ugly?  Yep.  But it's home. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

These Breeks are Made for Walkin'

Every year, I wore traditional breeks to work on St. Patrick's Day to help celebrate the feast of my patron saint and to allow me to get to the bar without stopping at home to change clothes.  At every place that I worked, my regalia was welcomed and appreciated.

Not at the current gig.  That's not "our way."

There, we dress for success.  That means business casual every day.  Despite the fact that we work for a farm store.  And despite the fact that we work in a facility that is an abject dump.  One in which paying for spy cameras is a smart expense, but having clean urinals is not.

So now I'm leaving.  I could push it and wear the breeks anyway, and likely get perp-walked out of the building.  However, I only have a week to go, so I'll just head home after work, change clothes, and hit the bar with little delay.

However, I can promise you this: as sure as my thirst will be quenched by ample pints of Guinness this day, I will never, ever work at a place that won't appreciate my heritage, my breeks, and me.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rounding Third and Heading for Home

The Wisconsin experiment is over.  

The current gig started as a port in a storm.  It afforded us the chance to avoid a previous misstep and not uproot our lives.  Beyond that, it enabled me to get back into the outdoor industry; an area of deep passion and love for me.  

However, there was significant baggage that came along with the job in the form of a caustic culture that is almost impossible to accurately describe.  Paranoid.  Abusive.  Punitive.  I have stories that you won't be able to believe, and should we convene some day for an adult beverage or two, I'll regale you with some of the more egregious ones.  It will astonish you.

Due to this culture, I've had my eye on the West for a while now.  That being said, I will admit that there was definitely some Stockholm Syndrome that I was experiencing, and there were parts of my job I absolutely loved.  I believe that I did my best and most meaningful work of my career while there, and I was willing to gut it out to see if a payday might be in the offing.

Unfortunately, things turned for the worst these past two months, and reached a crescendo during my annual review which was ultimately used to "put me in my place."  In my entire life - work, school, whatever - I've never had a critique of my work that was so ignorant of my achievements (none of which were mentioned in an hour and twenty-minute review - not one) and so unfairly focused and obsessed on making an example of me and lecturing me on how much I suck.  It was sick.

Once that was delivered, I knew my time there was over.  I could no longer work for a company that had just frittered away the last remaining scraps of respect I had for it.

Fortunately for me at the time, I was engaged in a great dialog with a company that had a hell of a story.  They are on a massive growth trajectory, have low-hanging fruit all over the place, and need a guy like me.  And they're in Minnesota.  And they fit outside a massively broad non-compete agreement I was forced to sign as part of my hiring.   

Was the new opportunity perfect?  No, but then again, nothing is.  Regardless, I'm energized and so bullish on the new job.  I've already sat in on a meeting via WebEx, and damn near cried seeing how normal they were and how they treated each other.  Likewise, I've already made contributions that have been so welcomed and so appreciated and were accepted without the paranoia of how my contributions were screwing the company or were stupid.    

I formally start in a couple of weeks, and I can't wait to return to my beloved Minnesota.

We're coming home.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2017 Minnesota All Hockey Hair Team

This year's installment of an appreciation of all things flow:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Courage or Faith?

There come times in all of our lives in which we need to take a bold step.  With it comes discomfort, ambiguity, risk, or pain, but it is still a move that needs to be made.  We know it.  It's time.

When we're faced with this fork in the path, there are two ways we can take it - we can either buck up with courage that we're doing the right thing, or we can have faith that there is Someone that has our backs and will be making sure that things work out.  The prior requires a firm grip on the handles of the roller coaster and concentration on what is coming next on the tracks.  The latter affords us the ability to loosen our grip, and actually be able to look around and marvel at what is flashing past us.

While it is surely possible to have both courage and faith, it is also easier to do so if faith is steadfastly present.  Likewise, I'd argue that when one has faith, courage is actually replaced with confidence.

Courage or faith?  It's up to us to decide.  Ultimately, when we're at these tough spots, my wish for all of us that we have the courage to have faith.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Rush - Time Stand Still

This is admittedly a really bad video, but it is an outstanding song from the mighty Rush (with some backing support from Aimee Mann):

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Peter Gabriel - San Jacinto

I believe this to be Gabriel's finest song, even including his Genesis days: