Sunday, April 30, 2017

Volvo Truck Driven By Little Girl

Pretty effective way to show that Volvo trucks can take a beating.

Even one dished out by a little girl:


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Song Share: The Suburbs - Music for Boys

From 1981, at the height of their powers.  Not sure how they never made it - have to believe a lot of drugs were involved, or maybe they were a couple of years ahead of their time. But still, this was one damn fine band.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

KFC Zinger Commercial

Rob Lowe does his best Colonel Sanders / Jack Kennedy mashup in the next iteration of KFC's rotating Colonels campaign.

This might be their best installment, yet.  And I love that Lowe's voice treatment is equal parts Harland Sanders, JFK, and Rob Lowe.

Outstanding:


Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Snow Limerick

While I'd grown quite attached to their beer
From Wisconsin, due west I did steer
While glad to depart
It was a blow to the heart
Had the Frozen Tundra followed me here?



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

St. Joseph, the Builder

There is a lot we don't know about Jesus' father.  We learn most about him from the Infancy Narratives from Matthew and Luke, and, as reported here earlier, we know he was a man of incredible faith.

We also know that, as a trade, he was a carpenter and a builder.  But what exactly did he build?  As Jesus' father, we can attest that he helped to build Jesus the man.  Jesus likely learned a trade from Joseph, and, more importantly, likely learned lessons as to how a man sacrifices to take care of the ones he loves.

We don't know how or when Joseph died, but the legacy of the man he helped raise and mold has literally spread to all corners of the world.  

An incredible builder, that St. Joseph.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chipolte: Keeping it Real with Jillian Bell - Musician

Chipolte has a mess on its hands.  About a year ago, an E.coli contamination threatened to completely scuttle the company.  Even now, the brand is nowhere where is used to be, and still appears reeling and unsteady on its feet.

Seeming to want to get things back to normal, they've launched a "keeping it real" campaign featuring "real" conversations with stand-up comings.  Most of them are total misses.  Likewise, it is interesting to see that the campaign designed to salvage the suffering brand as one in which folks need to "keep it real."

Regardless, of the half dozen or so that I've seen, one does stand out:

WhileWhil

While it in no way made me feel like I should get up off the couch and get some potentially sketchy Mexican food, I was at least entertained. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Minnesota Wild's Run is Over


It was an interesting year for the Minnesota Wild this year.  The regular season was a juggernaut with the team playing the best professional hockey ever for the franchise.  Consider the following:

  • Minnesota was 49-25-28, second in the Western Conference with a franchise-best 106 points. They set their records for longest winning streak (12, Dec. 4-29) and longest point streak (13 games, 12-0-1), and were second in the NHL with a plus-58 goal differential.  
  • With 13 players scoring at least 10 goals (tied for most in the NHL), Minnesota was second in the NHL with 263 goals.
The team found a way to win, and the puck found a way to cross the line.  It was really fun, but over the past month or so, the team stumbled.  Wins and goals were harder to come by, and that 1st place position they enjoyed got handed over to the hated Chicago Blackhawks.

No worries - the playoffs afforded a new season, and their #2 seeding gave them a good chance for a Cup run.  Unfortunately, nobody told Jake Allen, and the St. Louis goalie stood on his head and held the Wild to 8 goals across 5 games.  While the Wild outshot the Blues 182-133 and got good goaltending, there were not enough goals to move onto the next round and face the Nashville Predators (who had themselves vanquished the hated Blackhawks in a four-game sweep).

In some regards the season feels like a step forward, but the playoff performance adds up to usual Wild futility.  The goal of the NHL is to win the Stanley Cup, and in that effort the Wild failed miserably.

Oh well, at least we have the Twins to follow.  

Oh, wait... 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Monk's Chronicle

If a reader of this space, then you're aware of my affinity and love for Fr. Don and his daily posts from St. John's.  Well, a couple of months ago, I was made aware of another writer from that community who is worthy of your support and readership.

Fr. Eric Hollas writes "A Monk's Chronicle," and writes it wonderfully.  He offers a thought provoking and often times beautiful view of faith, and is a pure joy to read.  My only regret is that he only writes weekly.

I strongly encourage you to check out his site by clicking here, and then signing up for his email distribution.  It's very much worth the read.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Bob Schneider - Mudhouse

This is an awesome, funky song to begin with.  When mashed up with old school Soul Train solo line moves, well, check it out for yourselves:

Ain't got nobody, baby
I can call my shorty


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bill O'Reilly is Toast

Hard to believe, but the biggest voice in all of cable news has been brought silent.  To their credit (albeit very late), Fox conducted its own investigation, and what they turned up could not have been good, as their golden goose was scattered to the wind.  Bill must have known they had the goods as well, as he chose to not put up a fight and just rolled over.

For the life of me, I cannot understand this behavior.  Why treat women so lousy?  Why risk tens of millions a year?  Why not control yourself?  Why?

We'll never know for sure, I guess.  Chalk it up to yet another example of someone in the highest of positions that just couldn't be a decent human being.  

Why is that so damned hard, especially for the most powerful?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Delta's 4:00 AM Ad

I'm a big fan of Delta airlines.  I like their approach to service, I adore their frequent flyer program (although I'll lose my Gold status with them this year), and I massively respect that they're one of the only airlines out there that will deliberately fly around weather systems specifically for passenger comfort.  Most airlines take the shortest distance between two points, and it matters not what kind of hell lies on that line.

I've always preferred to travel early.  I like getting where I'm going, and I like having a day full of options ahead of me in the event that Mother Nature or the mechanical gremlins have something in store.  I just find it easier, and more often than not, find myself on the first flight out in the morning.

That's why I see a lot of myself in this ad:



While my business travel days may have passed me, it was nice to see Delta recognize who I was and what I needed to do to be their customer.

Well done.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fountain of Youth?

After being gone a couple of weeks, I returned home to see my wife.  Living apart has been really hard, and while I have plenty to do at my new job, it does get pretty darn lonely at night.

Upon arrival at home, I was in the kitchen in the morning, fixing myself a cup of coffee, when my wife stopped me and said, "You know, you look younger."  

Really?

She went on to explain that the last couple of months she had really become concerned about me.  I didn't look good.  My color was off.  I wasn't sleeping well.  I looked tired and I looked old.  

Not anymore.

I later went to an event at Lambeau Field that was being held by my old employer as I needed to pick up some things for my impending move, plus I'd been wanting to pick up a turkey blind.  One of the first people I bumped into was a guy that had only recently joined our company.  He walked up to me, shook my hand, and immediately said, "You look younger."

Later still, I ran into a friend, and together we took a selfie and sent if off to another friend.  That person exclaimed upon receiving the picture that I looked 10 years younger.

I'm not sure if any of this is true, and if it is if it will last, but it's nice to know that, at least to a couple of people, I look like I feel.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Latest Weird Thing Stuck in My Head

I have a really weird memory.  Mrs. YDP constantly asks how in the world I know what I know. It is really great for trivia contests. But beyond facts and figures, other things that are stuck up there are unfortunate things like advertising jingles from the 70's, one-hit wonder songs, and intricately clear memories of just about every time in my life in which I hurt others. 

I thought I might share some of what is currently rolling around.  Growing up, I loved All Star Wrestling.  While the action was some spotty (Kenny "Sodbuster" Jay was ALWAYS going to get his ass kicked), the personalities were fantastic, as were the advertisers.

One such advertiser was Otto Blihovde.  Who is this Otto Blihovde, you might ask?   Well, let's just take a little trip to Michigan (or North or South Dakota) and find out:


Just like lutefisk, Otto is an acquired taste.  That being said, I can pretty much guarantee he sold thousands of albums advertising on wrestling in the 1970's in Minnesota.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter


I have been reading and podcasting on a lot of apologetics lately, and it has really deepened my faith.  There is so much in secular society that tries to downplay Christianity, but when one truly looks at the facts (and make no mistake, there are plenty of facts) there is little doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

The biggest thing of all is the resurrection.  Hundreds, if not thousands, saw Jesus die with their own eyes.  Then, later, thousands more saw him resurrected.

Without the resurrection, the historical Jesus perhaps could have been a profit, magician, or some enlightened soul.  With the resurrection, He proves who He claimed to be all along, the Son of Man, the Lamb, the Alpha and the Omega, the Way and the Light.  He is our reconciliation.  He is our hope.

He is Emanuel.  He is God Among Us.  He is our salvation.

With that, I extend to you a wish for a happy Easter, in all that it means.

Hallelujah

Matthew 28

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Peter Gabriel - Father, Son

Hat tip to my brother on this one.  I didn't even know this song existed, and I'm richer now that I know it.  

Enjoy:

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Sorrowful Mysteries - Jesus Experiences Nearly All Human Suffering?

I've been logging a lot of road hours, and when on a long trip, I'll often say a rosary.  With it being Lent, I've been focusing on the Sorrowful Mysteries.

In contemplating them on a recent ride, I was struck by how the Mysteries pretty much covered all the bases of human suffering.  Consider the following:

  • The Agony in the Garden - Here Jesus is betrayed by one he loves.  Our heartbreak from those that we love is usually just that - heartbreak.  Betrayal is certainly hard, but it usually never ends up in us being killed.
  • The Scourging at the Pillar - Jesus is beaten mercilessly - nearly to the point of death.  His flesh is torn and His body is battered.  The physical pain He suffered has to be more than most will ever be asked to endure, regardless of the circumstance.
  • The Crowning of Thorns - It is not often that the taunts and ridicule that we endure come with thorns being thrust into our scalps.  Words can cause pain.  The crown takes things to a whole other level.
  • Carrying the Cross - This one has multiple parallels.  The first is the most obvious of the cross, and what the means for all of us as we bear our crosses.  The second is the meeting of His mother, and knowing He was going to die.  Looking into Mary's eyes and seeing Her pain had to kill Jesus as much as the cross would eventually do.
  • The Crucifixion - Here Jesus dies, but in a manner much slower, much more painful, and much more horrible that we'll ultimately endure.
The bottom line to all this is that Jesus knows our suffering.  Not just because He's God, but because He endured it just like we do.  As a human.  He knows what it all feels like.

Why do we have to suffer in the first place?  Kids, if I knew that, I'd sell a lot of books.  But what I do know is that, even when we're at the deepest and darkest point, we know Somebody that's shared our fate, if not had things imminently worse.

I somehow find comfort in that, and feel that maybe when some day I meet Him and tell Him of my woes, He'll look at me, nod, and tell me, "I know, my child.  I know."

Thursday, April 13, 2017

New Event For American Ninja

I'm currently staying at a rental house until our place back home sells and we can buy a new place.  There are a couple of things to like about the rental.  First, it is located directly on Detroit Lake, which makes for a great location for a walk or a run.  Second, it is within walking distance of two of Detroit Lake's most famous bars.

It was one evening after spending time at one of those establishments when I returned home to the rental house.  One of the nice things about the house is that it has an automatic lock on the front door - just punch in the code, and you're in.  No need for any pesky keys.

As I arrived I opened the screen and punched in the code.  Instead of being met with the flashing green light and sound of the door opening, I was instead met with a flashing red light and a loud BEEP BEEP BEEP.  No worries, I must have fat fingered the code, so I tried again.  BEEP BEEP BEEP.

OK, this isn't that hard.  The code was impossible to forget, and it knew it was correct.  All I needed to do was go slow.  BEEP BEEP BEEP.

Oh, crap.  It's now 10PM, I have no key, and the door is locking me out.  Houston, we have a problem.

I decided to check the other doors to see if I could possibly catch a break.  Unfortunately, both the garage door and the deck door were locked.

Come on!  It can't be this hard!  Just type in the code slow!  BEEP BEEP BEEP.

OK, there's a boarder that lives downstairs in a mother-in-law apartment.  I guess I need to wake him up.  Well, the beers he enjoyed during the hockey game must have worked as he never stirred to repeated doorbell rings and pounding on his window.

Now what?  I could sleep in my car, or perhaps head to a hotel.  However, I didn't have a change of clothes, and didn't want to show up at my new job in what I wore yesterday.  That'd get folks talking...

One more try...BEEP BEEP BEEP

Maybe, just maybe, there might be a window that would open.  I went back to the deck, as I vaguely remembered thinking that the kitchen sink window was open when I noticed it doing dishes one night.  I climbed the deck, and was pleased to find that the window had no screen.  Whew - break #1.  I then leaned over the railing and tried to push the window open.  Lo and behold, break #2.

Now the bad news - the window was not over the deck.  In fact, I'd need to shimmy on a narrow and weak-looking railing and then try to fit through a very small window.  If I fell, or the railing broke, I'd likely break something, and given the Coors Light the downstairs boarder was sleeping off, I wouldn't been found until much later the next day.  

The stakes were high, but it was a risk I needed to take.  I hiked my way onto the railing, eventually got a death-grip on the kitchen faucet, and hauled my fat butt through the window.

For perspective, here's what I accomplished entering:


I put my size 11.5 shoe on the ledge for scale.  It was a very tight fit.

I now carry physical keys with me every time I go out, even though the door appears to be working just fine now.  I also will be submitting this as a new event to American Ninjas.  

Don't try this at home, kids.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

5 Ways a Morning Run Will Change Your Life

It is really tough for me to work out at night, hence I log most of my road time in the early morning hours before work.

This video really spoke to me, and I wanted to share it with you all.

See you out there tomorrow morning:


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I Make Them Proud?

As part of my leaving, I was in touch with my alma mater about potentially spending some of my advertising with them; likely as part of a stadium signage package.  Other priorities got in front of it, and I ran out of time to pull it all together, hence I needed to reach out to my contact there and let him know that a deal wouldn’t be in the offing prior to my leaving the company.

He handled the news really well and totally understood the circumstance.  When then talked about my new opportunity – where it was and what I’d be doing.  He was quite aware of the company as it is run by two alumni, and he had nothing but great things to say all the way around.

We finished up our conversation by him wishing me the best on the new opportunity and thanking me for considering them for the opportunity.  He then closed with, “You make us proud.”

Wow.

My whole life I’ve been very proud of my school.  Just about everything about it I admire.  More than anything else it probably molded me into the man I am today, hence I hold it in high regard.  But to hear it turned around, and to hear them say that I made them proud, well that was just wonderful to hear.

I know I was getting sales guy talk, and I shouldn’t read too much into it, still it made me feel incredibly good, especially as I step into a new direction.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Left's Tolerance

A couple of days ago, I opined that Pepsi's Kendall Jenner video would be burned by the Left if it was in book format.

I'm not the only one that thinks things have gotten out of hand with our "progressive" friends:


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad and Liberal Outrage

As you're likely aware, media (both social and major) have piled on Pepsi for being so "tone deaf" in their production of an ad featuring Kendall Jenner.  Here is the offending ad:



It could not have been more Lefty.  Every bleeping lefty stereotype was included here, and all in your face.  However, despite it being a thorough homage to all things liberal, it was received with nothing but vitriol and hate from the Left.  

Why?  Because it leveraged the Black Lives Matter movement to sell soda.  Or so one would think.  Personally, I think the primary reason was that cops were treated too favorably, and there flat weren't enough dead pigs bleeding in the street.

This is yet another shining example that the real fascists are the Left.  Need proof?  If this video was a book, they would have burned it.  Every damned copy.

Think about that for a minute and let it soak in good and well.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bill O'Reilly the Next Cosby?

Despite a sanctimonious demeanor (he's quick to tell you he never drinks and offers a "Tip of the Day" at the close of most shows), Bill O'Reilly is in hot water.  Multiple cases of sexual impropriety are quickly piling up against him, and the whispers are getting louder.

I take no joy in this.  I'm a fan of his show (as my suffering wife can attest) and his "Killing" series of books are simply outstanding.  Unfortunately, Bill appears to have a problem with the women with whom he works.

I'm not judging.  Are you a freak?  Well, my friend, there are outlets for that which are easy, easy, easy to find.  Especially for a guy worth tens of millions.  The last place you need to be flying your freak flag is a work.  With people that respect and admire you.

Bill looks dirty.  His responses to the allegations have a really funky smell.  Payouts have been increasing.  New stories are leaking.

American hero to zero, akin to Bill Cosby?  We'll see.  Right now, it doesn't look good. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Susan Rice Unmasks Surveillance on Trump Team - Nobody Cares

Susan Rice is in hot water.  She "unmasked" intelligence about Trump and his team ahead of the election, seemingly only for political reasons.  This is outrageous behavior that very well may be criminal.  What Nixon did is chump change compared to this.

And yet, the only place you'll see this story is on right leaning news sources.  Nothing on CNN.  Nothing on the StarTribune.  Nothing.

Forget the concept of fake news.  When news outlets fail to inform the populace due solely to their political agenda, they're complicit in obstructing justice. 

That, in and of itself, is criminal.

Where are you getting your news, and what are they saying about this story?  If anything?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Wood Duck House Cleaning

This past weekend, Fuzzy and I opened up the duck camp.  We found a mess, and spent most of our time cleaning it up, which likely wasn't a bad thing as it kept us from our usual sloth, TV viewing, beer drinking, and overall debauchery.

One of the things we did is an annual cleaning of all of the wood duck boxes we have on the property.  We had 19 out there in total, and after inspection, found 7 had hatched broods.  Two looked like they may have been visited by predators, so that my have cut into our total, but still, not a bad .368 average.

We also placed another one, giving us an even 20 for the property.

Given the broods raised and the ducks bagged, it's pretty clear that we're raising far more birds than we're harvesting.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Gift From My Team

Upon my departure, my team provided me with a word cloud for things that they felt described me.  The cloud gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text - e.g. the more folks say "handsome," the bigger the word "handsome" is.

Here's my cloud:



To say I was flattered was a complete understatement.  

Am I all that?  Lord knows I don't feel I am.  I feel a fraction of what is presented here, and certainly unworthy of something like "hero," (which did actually make me break down when I found it.)  Me?  A hero to someone?  Wow.

What it perhaps does show is that I did make an impact and perhaps a difference.  Ultimately, that what we're all charged to do.

It is one of the nicest gifts anyone has ever given me, and I'm humbled to receive it.

Even if nobody said "handsome!"

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Bryan Adams and Tina Turner - It's Only Love

Taken from the height of both of their popularities.  While I'm not a very huge fan of either, their combined effort is a monster.  A couple of take-aways here:
  • Think there is a little bit of stage presence here?  Holy cow.
  • How nice to see a live vocal performance, as opposed to some lip synch and/or autotuned crap.
  • Ditto Adams' guitar playing.  While he played a distant rhythm, his leads were clearly him.
  • Who would have thought that two distinctly different performers could have hatched something so vibrant?
Enjoy

yeldogpat-20