Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manchester the Latest. Who's Next?

Innocent people at a concert.  Nearly two dozen now dead.  

When will the West learn that Islam holds nothing for it but death?

Not assimilation.  Not cultural enrichment.  Not betterment of any kind.  Just death.

As sure as we know who did this, we also know they'll be striking again sometime soon.

Incredible.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Moving Pains

Stuff is coming together on both closes, which is great.  Our movers?  That's another story.  They still won't confirm a move date.  We don't have any kind of contract or agreement, so if they pull the plug on us, we'll be going the U-Haul route.

The stress of the past two weeks has been difficult hard to take.  We want to move to the next space on the board, but there always appears to be someone or something preventing us from doing so.

This has been really hard.  But it's not cancer hard, or losing a loved one hard, and I've been trying to keep a proper perspective.  


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Redbone - Come and Get Your Love

When I was growing up, I could have swore these guys were black.  Wrongo:




 It was also part of one of the best opening sequences in Mavel history:




I do dig me some Redbone

Friday, May 19, 2017

Running Update

In preparing for a 10k in September I've been doing a slow but steady training session for about the past two months.  Things are going well thus far, and I've reached the 5 mile mark for my every-other-day runs.  I'm 50/50 that if push came to shove and I needed to crank out that 6th mile to get in a 10k, I could do it.

There is still a lot left to do.  My pace is horribly slow and needs to be improved.  I do need to stretch out my distance.  My form is really bad when I fatigue, and I heel-strike way too much, usually starting at mile 3.  Likewise, my diet's not been good living as a bachelor up here in the north woods, so I'm carrying far more weight than I'd like for the amount of mileage I'm logging.  With life getting more normal next month and with the mileage increasing, my hope is that some of it starts to fall off.

In the meantime the goal is to stay healthy and not get injured.  So far, so good.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Anything to Get Trump

A few days ago the Washington Post published a story from an anonymous source that President Trump had shared intelligence secrets in a recent meeting.  The obliging press and the rest of the Left immediately jumped on the story and have continued to use it as additional fuel for their dream of impeachment.

Only one little problem.  It didn't happen.

National Security Adviser Gen. McMaster made a very public statement that he was in the meeting in question, and what is being reported never happened.  

Here's his statement:

"A brief statement for the record. There is nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The president and the [Russian] foreign minister [Sergey Lavrov] reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time — at no time — were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of the state, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on the record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources. And I was in the room. It didn’t happen. Thanks, everybody."

Think about it for a second.  If somebody had the goods on Trump, why in the world would they choose to stay anonymous?  They'd be hailed a savior and a celebrity, and live out the rest of their days in untold wealth.  Indeed, why not come forward and acquire those riches?

Simple.  Because they're lying.  Or they flat don't exist in the first place.

Take your pick.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Missing Things

I was home last weekend, helping Mrs. YDP to get us moved out of Green Bay and returning to Minnesota.  It was great to be back in our home, where there was space galore, a full beer fridge, and our huge, comfortable bed (which is NOT an inflatable).

As I sat on our patio grilling and looking out at the golf course, I felt pretty blue.  We'd never again live in a home as nice as this.  We're only going backward from here, and it made me sad.

I thought about my melancholy.  Why was I truly sad?  The answer came clearly - I was missing things.  Tangible things.  Inanimate things.  Just...things.

Were we happy there?  Nope.  We did have the Lambeau Fais Do Do, and a couple of other family gatherings, but beyond that, we did not have a ton of memories there.  It was a lot of me golfing by myself, and us missing our friends and family.

Did I ever think that I'd ever live in an active NFL player's house in my life?  Nope.  Did I ever think I'd take a financial bath on said house?  Nope.  Am I bitter?  YES.

Don't get me wrong, it was a nice house.  Nice as hell.  The only thing it didn't have was proximity to people we love.

Will I miss the things?  You bet.  Will I miss them as much as I've missed the people?  Not even close. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

St. John's in Images

This video captures the beauty and the true essence of the community that is St. John's University.

Enjoy:


Nostalgia Final from SSQTCH MEDIA on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

The older I get, the more I understand what is truly easy in life, and what it truly hard.  You know what's hard?  Being a mom.  I can't envision a tougher job.  It's unending, draining, and sometimes completely thankless and heartbreaking.

Yet, though the toil and the pain, there they stand.  Still holding our hands, even as we're firmly in the grips of middle age.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there.  We stand in awe of all that you do, and who you are.  

Especially this one:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday Song Share - Songs for My Brother

For my brother's birthday every year here at Yellow Dog Patrol we review some of what I've recently downloaded and is on heavy musical rotation.  While this used to be accompanied with an iTunes gift of the same selection, these now need to be downloaded manually.  

Apple jerks.

I digress.  In no particular order, here is some juicy music that's been rolling around my ears of late:


  • "When My Train Pulls In" - Gary Clark Jr.  Fantastic new blues.  Lots of critical comparisons to Jimi, but he definitely has his own style.  Shows that the blues will never, ever be out of style
  • "Tear It Down" - Spoon  These guys have been making really interesting since the early '90's.  They're still incredibly relevant, and this is just one example of their unique, timeless style
  • "It's Been A While Since I Was Your Man" - Matthew Goode  I know he's a flaming lefty, and is one of the worse offenders of the "shut up and sing" rules, but damn, he can write fine music.  Would love to see him live.  Minus all the hate of righties, of course
  • "Love Like Crazy" Jessica Lee Wilkes  Got that great 50's rockabilly vibe that never seems to go out of style.  Sounds a touch like Amy Winehouse
  • "Grandview" - John Mellencamp  On his previous album, he sounded terrible.  I thought for sure his career was over.  Then I saw him in concert, and he sounded amazing.  Now comes this release.  John Cougar is back.  Wow.  Sounds awesome.
  • "As I Walk Away" - Yuck  Another really strong effort from one of my favorite newer bands
  • "A Feather's Not a Bird" Rosanne Cash  Just saw her sing this live last week up here in DL's incredible theater.  Hard to believe that an artist like her would play such a venue.  This one won her multiple Grammys.  Deservedly so.
  • "Madonna of the Wasps" - Neko Case  She has one of the best and most distinctive voices in music right now.  I just love her sound.
  • "Soldier's Angel" - Stevie Nicks  Got a lot of help from Lindsay Buckingham on this.  Just an incredible song on so many levels.  
  • "Broken Halos" - Chris Stapleton  This is what country music should sound like in 2017.  Too bad this is the rare exception, instead of the rule
  • "PTP" - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears  This is what soul music should sound like in 2017.  Funky!
  • "Nobody Speak" - DJ Shadow  Questionable lyrics, but sound is totally addicting
  • "Feel It Still" - Portugal. The Man  Totally fun funky vibe.  Best driving song of the entire mix.  Watch for cops.
  • "Crazy" - Pylon  Perhaps my favorite REM song covered by one of my favorite new bands.  Good version, good cover.
  • "Overture" - Dave Grohl and Friends  As you know, I'm a huge Foos fan, as well as a huge Rush fan.  Combine the two?  Rock out, my brother.
  • "Name on a Matchbook" Springtime Carnivore  We get to the catchiest hook in the mix.  This one will have you whistling along.
  • "Summerland"  Everclear  These guys are out touring the 20th anniversary of this album, which seems hard to wrap my head around.  "Just a name on the map - sounds like heaven to me."
  • "Little Queenie"  Chuck Berry  I know a lot of this song was cobbled together from Chuck's other stuff, but if you're borrowing from yourself, and you're a genius, who cares?  Meanwhile...
  • "Everything is Broken" Bob Dylan  The thing I admire so much about Dylan is his rhyming.  There are so many times he could use the obvious connection but does something unexpected.  It's one of the things that makes him so great.
  • "Whiskey, Beer, and Wine" - Buddy Guy  We close with the blues, with a man who is still out there and killing it.  
Happy birthday to my brother!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Baby Hears for the First Time

How important is hearing?  Ask this little baby, who was unable to hear, until hearing aids were applied:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hard to be Homeless

We're on to week six of the new gig.  Things continue to go well there, but I will admit, this existence is hard.  The hassles of selling a house, buying another, landing a mortgage, coordinating a move, all the while living a very meager existence in a rented home are full of stress.  At times it makes it hard to concentrate, hard to sleep, and hard to be at my best.

While I do indeed lack a home, I am far from homeless.  I do have protection from the elements.  I do have a warm place to sleep.  I do have ample food in my belly and clean clothes to wear.  I do interact with people that like and appreciate me every day.  I do talk to people that love me on a daily basis.  I have my health.

Yes, things are hard.  However, compared to how some are living their lives, I'm ashamed to admit my frustration and my discomfort.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Oscar Meyer Wienermobile Hits Alaska

The Wienermobile's reach is far and wide.  

Beware, vegetarians...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

House Quest Complete

Mrs. YDP came up for a long weekend to try and help us pin down a new home in our new home.  After four hard days, looking at 15 different offerings, and logging dozens of miles, we settled on a really great town home with lake access.

It wasn't the greatest negotiation, but they never are.  Ultimately, we got a fair deal on a great place.

Likewise, our place back in Green Bay sold as well.  Now all we need to do is close on both, and we'll be getting on with our lives.

After living apart and with me living like a transient for the last five weeks, that sounds great to me.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Why I Am Where I Am

I've only told my wife this story.

It was early February, and my job was a nightmare.  It was toxic, didn't align with my values, and was a daily battle.  I needed out in the worst way, and my daily prayer was for one of deliverance.  I needed to be delivered from the situation that I was in.

As I made my way up to my on-site interview, that thought of deliverance was strongly on my mind, and was what I was seeking as I said a rosary on the way.  As I closed closer to my destination, I had finished my rosary and and switched over to my iPhone for some music to get me pumped up for the impending interview.

As I was about 20 minutes out, Johnny Paycheck's song Take this Job and Shove It came up.  I laughed at the coincidence.  Of the 16,000 songs in my library, this was one of the 3,000 that made it onto my phone.  Long odds, indeed, and I couldn't help but remember that time when All Creatures of Our God and King came on while I was driving.  Was this a sign?  I kind of chuckled to myself.

Those chuckles were replaced by sobs when the very next song that came on, the very next song, was All Creatures of Our God and King.

I knew at that point that I'd get an offer.  I knew it.

When I finally told my wife the story, I wondered to her if God would be so overt (if not vulgar) by the whole "shove it," aspect.  "Well, your dad might have put Him up to it," she replied.

Truer words.

Again, you can believe what you choose to believe in this story.  All I know is that I can do math.  There was a 3.51% chance those songs even both made it onto my phone in the first place.  Then, for All Creatures...to come up immediately after Johnny Paycheck was a 0.03% chance, for a combined chance of this happening of 0.00001%.  Basically one in 10,000,000.  Combine that with the odds of my other episode...

All I know is that I feel God spoke to me and answered a prayer.  That He may have been nudged by somebody I love and miss greatly is just icing on the cake.  

In the aftermath, I feel happy, at home, and delivered.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Gov't Mule - Time to Confess

It's time for some blues, and Ladies and Gentlemen, Gov't Mule is dishing it up by the bucketfull:

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fuzzy's Turkey

Last weekend Fuzzy and I went to the duck camp and tried our hand at hunting the elusive wild turkey.  While our property has pretty much always held turkeys, they've been damned hard to hunt.  In about ten years of hunting them, we've only bagged one, and got shots at two.

We opted for a new strategy this year.  Unlike in years past where we separated to cover more ground, we just ended up texting each other most of the day, so this year we opted to cut to the chase and I bought us a ground blind.  That way we could just talk to each other, because we don't do that enough.

Here's are the new digs in action:


We got into the blind at some stupid hour of the morning; well ahead of the woods waking up.  Our early stealth paid off, as we heard one and likely three toms gobbling on the roost behind us to the north about 150 yards.  They gobbled great on the roost, but about fly down time, they clammed up.

I started calling about then, doing my best to sound like a hen in dire need of a hot date.  We had a decoy placed out front of us strategically at about 25 yards, and well in the open to be within clear view of any hot tom.

I kept up the calling about every ten minutes or so, but never got any kind of response.  Our fear is that the turkeys headed off the north and away from us, and that they likely couldn't even hear me anymore.

Then, about 8:30 we were greeted by a seemingly random gobble about 100 yards behind us.  I replied with a call, and got nothing in return.  About five minutes later he gobbled from about the same location, and I immediately called back to him, which elicited a response gobble.  Then he got quiet again.

About three minutes later we were looking both north and south, then I happened to turn Fuzzy's way and look out the west window.  There was the tom.  How he closed that much ground was a mystery to me, but there he was, all puffed up and looking for love.  "Fuzzy, look to your right," I whispered.  "Holy shit!" Fuzzy replied.

I encouraged him to get his gun and go for a shot, but there is no way that Fuzzy could have got his gun up and out the window without getting busted.  We opted to just sit there and see what would happen.

Our Romeo had definitely seen our decoy (hence the puff-up), but he was getting the cold shoulder. Hence, he started a mosey to try and get her attention.  That afforded Fuzzy to get an opportunity to get the gun up and out the front window.  Unfortunately, Fuzz was off balance, and mid-aim asked "Hold me up!"  Like any good coach in this situation, I responded with motivation via a "Shoot the son of a bitch!" command.  

Fuzzy did as he was told and rolled our bird with one sporty shot.  He even waited for Mr. Romance to make his way a little away from my decoy so that it wouldn't take any stray shot.  Here are the results:


Our boy turned out to be a hoss, weighing in at a full 22+ pounds.  While ugly, they are also gloriously beautiful as well, especially in the sun:


My hunt day the following day yielded nary a gobble.  We had a hen check out our decoy, as well as a couple of deer, but it was obvious that the word in the woods was that a couple of turkey hit men were loose in the woods, and the toms steered clear.  Regardless, that was one of the funnest hunts I've ever been on, and I can't wait to do it again next year.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Best Golf Trick Shots

Spring is finally here in the Midwest, so that means time for golf, and that means time for some golf trick shots:



Got a favorite?  Personally, I like the club all the way around the body the best, but all of them are pretty amazing.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Twinge

I got contacted by a recruiter yesterday; one that I've worked with in the past and has good familiarity with me and my capabilities.  The role is a VP gig, reporting to the CEO.  It'd own the entire B to C P&L, and would be responsible for a team of 30.  In doing some quick research on the company, there are a dozen things I identified that I could start working on tomorrow to improve performance.  It's owned by private equity, and there'd be a chance for a big pay day.  It'd pay twice what I'm making now.  It fit within the confines of my current non-compete.

Now the buts:

But I'm happy for the first time in a long time

But it is in Salt Lake City (don't get me started)

But I really like getting into the shower at 7:00, getting to work at 7:45, and leaving no later than 5:30

But I really like smiling and laughing again. 

But I'm going to try and buy a house on the lake and grab summer and hold it by the throat like I haven't since I was a little kid.

But I'm finally close to family and friends again

But I'm again going to sleep without drinking, and sleeping through the night

So what in the world am I thinking?  Simple.  It's ego.  I like being an executive in a big company.  I like the title, the pay, and the perks, and I like to prove folks wrong about me.  From that perspective, I'd really, really like to take a run at the opportunity.

Thankfully, the logical part of me is smarter than the ego part of me.

Finally.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Texas Teacher Abuse Crisis

And don't kid yourself; it's a crisis.  In a recent article about yet another arrest of a teacher for multiple counts of sexual impropriety with multiple students, Breitbart offers these shocking statistics:

No doubt, teachers crossing the line sexually with students continue to plague Texas classrooms. DeEtta Culbertson, Texas Education Agency (TEA) spokeswoman, told Breitbart Texas the agency opened 159 of these cases between September 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.

By comparison, the TEA opened 123 cases during the entire 2008-09 academic year. These numbers rose steadily over the years: 2009-10, 141 cases; 2010-11, 152; 2011-12, 156; 2012-13, 163; and 2013-14, 179. In 2014-15, the TEA accounted for a disconcerting 188 instances, which lead Senate Education Committee members to meet and seek policy solutions plus assess the role of social media in fostering this troubling educator behavior.


The 2015-16 school year, though, marked an all-time high of 222 cases, Breitbart Texas reported. So startling the numbers, the TEA asked state lawmakers to fund nearly $400,000 in their 2018-19 academic budget for hiring two investigators and one administrator to better tackle the problem.

A couple of thoughts:

  • You might turn up your nose at me for quoting Breitbart.  Fine.  Then ask yourself why these facts are being ignored by other news outlets.
  • Over 1,000 cases of abuse in the past ten years in Texas alone.  What would be the coverage if such activity were being conducted by the Catholic church?
  • Pedophiles go to where the kids are, folks.  The kids are in school.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Washington Post Reporter and I Move to Northern Minnesota...

Check out this story:


You can read more on the story here

While I'm not in as small a community as the family featured here, I am in a small town.  I can't go anywhere without bumping into someone that I know.  As I become more integrated into the town via church and other aspects, it will only get worse.

And I love it.

People here are genuinely nice.  What our reporter found, I've found as well.  They're proud of this area (rightfully so!) and they want to share it.  The smiles here are everywhere.  The pace here is comfortable.  The activities here are boundless, you just need to look differently to find them.

I've lived in Minnesota most of my life, and I'm finally understanding the meaning of "Minnesota Nice."  It's dripping up here.

If Mrs. YDP loves it as much as I do, we're in for a very happy life.
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