Friday, June 30, 2017

Allstate: The Purple Purse

Lots to think about here:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Yellow Dog Does Emergency Room. Again.

Two nights ago I was enjoying a snack of raisins from a large bag while standing in the kitchen.  While taking some out of the bag, a clump of about a dozen of them fell to the floor.  As the Yellow Dog was standing next to me, I just pointed them out to her with my foot, and down the hatch they went.

Bad move.  Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs.

After my snack, I sat down on the couch and just didn't feel right about the dog eating the raisins.  She only eats dog food (other than what she steals), so for her to eat anything that I didn't pour into her bowl was rare.  Just to make sure, I Googled "dogs and raisins."

Yep.  Bad, bad news.  Thank God for Google.

I immediately went for the hydrogen peroxide, loaded up a turkey baster's worth, and as Mrs. YDP held the dog I squirted a load of the chemical down the dog's throat.  The Yellow Dog is a bit of a sissy, and in highly stressful episodes she'll pass out.  That indeed happened immediately after she threw up, which caused my wife to freak out a little.  Unfortunately, in digging through the dog puke, we came up with nary a raisin.

Mrs. YDP then immediately got on the phone with the emergency vet (it was 8:00 PM), and they said to bring the dog in ASAP.  I loaded up the dog and drove the hour to the emergency room in Fargo.

I got there and the waiting room was filled with about a dozen people.  "Oh, great," I thought.  But then I immediately noticed a sign which said that animals would be seen in order of their emergency, which made me wonder where we'd fall.  I filled out my paperwork and took a seat.  Two minutes later a nurse comes up to me and says, "Are you the raisin dog?"  I answered in the affirmative.  "Come with me," she said and led us past all those other people and animals.

The doctors there got her to puke up the offending fruit and immediately started her on drugs to stave off the toxins.  They also started her on IV fluids to flush her system and would need to do so for 24 straight hours.  

I was informed I'd need to prepay for everything, and that I'd need to pick the dog up at 7:00 AM to be taken to our vet as the emergency room closed when regular vets were open.  The bill?  $850.

When the nurse told me, I was standing next to a guy that was obviously in construction.  He immediately looked at me to see what'd I'd do.  I forked over my American Express and he turned away.  We are very fortunate to have the means to spend that kind of money on such an episode.

And the money just started there.  We had two appointments with our regular vet, IV bags I got to take with me, then a lot of Surly beer which I bought to forget the whole ordeal.  Total cost was well over $1,000.  All because I was too lazy to bend over and pick up some raisins.

This is now the fourth time we've rushed the dog to the emergency room in her 12 years, and is, by far, the most expensive.  Again, at least we're fortunate enough that we haven't had to make any really hard decisions.  

In the meantime, when I got back from the emergency vet that night about midnight, the first thing I did was throw the bag of raisins into the garbage.

I also threw out the cereal I had which had raisins in it.

With my dog, one can't be too careful.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Drunkest City? Green Bay

This is a touch old, but still relevant.  According to a recent study, Green Bay was found to be the United States' most drunken city, based on self-reported incidents of binge drinking.

Wisconsin also took in honors as the most drunken state in the union, with the following cities ranking as the drunkest in the country:

#1 Green Bay 
#2 Eau Claire 
#3 Appleton 
#4 Madison 
#6 Oshkosh 
#9 Wausau 
#10 La Crosse 
#12 Fond du Lac 
#15 Sheboygan 
#20 Milwaukee

Titletown, indeed.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Michelle Carter is a Murderer, Not a Free Speech Victim

A couple of days ago, Michelle Carter was convicted of manslaughter for promoting the idea of suicide for her "boyfriend."

Actually, she was more than promotional.  She craved that he kill himself, and ordered him to do so:

There are some claiming that poor Michelle is the victim in this episode, as she was just practicing her First Amendment rights.  While we sometimes find that language repugnant, it is just speech, and it is protected.

I'd link to these pieces, but I don't want to give their authors any credence.  Sick.  All of them.

Poor misunderstood Michelle, huh?

Sorry, dear, but you can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater because people might be trampled to death.  In the same vein, you can't tell a depressed, suicidal person repeatedly to "just do it" because they just might take their lives.  

You did.  He did.  Now go to jail.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wish I Was Wrong

Exactly one week ago, I wondered if we could ever get along.  Just a scant couple of days later, last Wednesday, a 66-year-old Illinois man opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, and nearly killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. James Hodgkinson, a leftist driven by the hate of his political rivals, was killed by police returning fire, however he still also shot Two Capitol Police officers, a congressional staffer, and a lobbyist. 

It has been reported that investigators found a hit list of GOP lawmakers’ names on Hodgkinson’s body.

What did these people do to deserve being shot?  They voted in a manner and held political beliefs that this guy didn't like.  That's it.

This is the start.  There will be more.  Why am I so confident?  Simple.  There are those on the Left that are claiming that someone that lives a life promoting "hate" deserves what comes to him.  Even if it is being shot on a baseball field. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Foo Fighters - Run

The latest from the Foos.  Bad video.  Good tune.  Can't wait to have it show up on a run.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The End of the Whirlwind

  • On March 2, I accepted my new position after a long courting and negotiation
  • On March 13, I turned in my resignation to my old employer.  I fully expected to have been perp-walked out the building that day, as they did with every other employee that resigned, but my boss had an "Oh shit!" moment and felt the need to keep me on.  It was the best two weeks of my work there.
  • On March 24 I had my last day at work, and moved into a hotel in Minnesota for a week.
  • On April 3, I moved into a rental house until May 17.  In this period I had additional trips to Green Bay (3 times), a weekend in the Cities, and a weekend at the duck camp.
  • On May 18, I moved into our cabin on Leech.
  • I moved out of the rental on May 23, and headed back to Green Bay to close the move.
  • On May 25 we moved back to the cabin.
  • On April 10 we moved out of the cabin and into a hotel.
Though it all we logged countless hours on the road and mileage back and forth.  I lost countless hours of sleep trying to get comfortable in unfamiliar confines.  We spent way, way more that we could have expected, but in the end it is worth every penny.  It has been beyond crazy.

Thankfully, all of that comes to an end.  Today we close on our new home, and our odyssey comes to a conclusion.  

It was long, hard, uncomfortable, and lonely.  However, though it all I met some incredible people, took on a great new role in a fantastic company, and finally feel at home.  Yes, it took a lot, but given how things worked out, I would have done even more had I needed to do so,

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Tear Down this Wall" at 30

It was 30 years ago that Reagan uttered these famous words.  A couple of thoughts:

  • What a mensch.  Where the hell are men like this today?
  • 30 years?  In some ways that feels way too much, and in some ways that feels not nearly enough
  • It is hard to believe that Reagan demanded it, and the USSR complied.  Granted, things were already tipping that way, but once Reagan made his case, too much momentum was applied and the wall had to fall.
  • It is damned hard to imagine a Berlin wall: a wall designed to keep people in, not keeping people out.  What a massive change in our lifetimes!

I do not miss the cold war and all that it represented.  I do miss the hell out of a leader like Reagan.  We've not seen anything like him since he left office, and we are poorer as a people for it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How's Work Going?

Here's an example.  Last week we had our annual sales conference, which was Renaissance-themed.  Every conference has a theme, and while not all dress up, those that did not were a handful and were dutifully scorned in fun.

Here's a photo from the event:

Included in this photo are a co-CEO, the company President (and my boss), two of our top sales reps, our newest employee, and me.  

One of our top sales reps always wanted to go to Machu Picchu, so that's where the company is sending her.  The message was delivered via two rented alpacas which sported the signs "Alpaca your bags!" and "You're going to Machu Picchu!"  The alpacas were there for about 5 minutes as the program ran late and, according to one of the CEOs, "alpacas don't do well in the dark."

Another rep always wanted to run with the bulls in Barcelona.  That's where she's going.  Thankfully no bulls were on hand for that announcement.

This is how our company rolls.  This is how appreciation is shown to each other.  This is how we celebrate our successes.  This is our culture.

How's work going?  How do you think it's going?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Can We Ever Get Along?

Is there any common ground anymore?  

Our living environment is one of constant grievance.  No matter what the subject, approximately half of us believe one thing, and the other half believes something else.  Cubed ice?  Bullshit!  Crushed ice, you Nazi!

Not only that, but it is also becoming way too common to also believe that those who don't agree with us are evil.  We heap the absolute worst of humanity on those on the other side of the fence, invoking things like racism, sexism, homophobia, and Nazism.

All because we've lost our ability to get along.

Part, if not all of this has been driven by electronic communications.  From the safety behind the screen, we're well beyond the arm's length of retribution from those that we push too far.  Likewise, we've appeared to have lost the ability to even talk to each other anymore.  It is much more convenient to get online and immediately conduct a social scorched-earth policy against those with whom we have even a minor disagreement.

Where does it end?  All that hatred has to go somewhere.  Personally, I think it is only a matter of time before this hatred spills from social media to the streets.  It seems a natural human progression, that is, unless there is something that can bind us as humans.  

I don't see it - not anymore.  It seems like the only thing we have in common is the blood that runs in our veins, and perhaps, soon to be running in our streets. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fishing Blues

Despite being up at the cabin in between permanent residences, I've done a scant amount of fishing.  In fact, I've not gone at all this past week.

It's related to the following:

  • I'm a good hour and fifteen minutes from work, so fishing after work or staying up late really isn't an option right now
  • I don't have anyone to fish with.  Mrs. YDP is a very fair weather fisherperson, and things just have not been that fabulous outside
  • The move has been wildly expensive.  Way, way more than we expected.  Dropping another couple hundred dollars on boat rental, gas, bait, etc. seems like a really stupid thing to do right now
The whole situation has conspired to make me 0 for 2017 as it pertains to fishing this year.  

I hope to be able to take advantage of more time on the lake when we return here later in July.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Surprising Twins

We're firmly in June and our favorite baseball team is in first place in the AL North.  No, the lead isn't big, and the lineup has holes aplenty, but this team has been fun to watch.  Specifically:

  • The defense has been off the charts.  The speed in the outfield, in particular, is worth the price of admission.
  • Sano is already damn near the best third baseman the franchise ever had.  Gary Gaetti, watch your butt
  • With Santana and Berrios, the Twins have the best one-two starting pitching punch since I don't know how long.  
I know it's a long season and there is a lot of baseball yet to play, however one cannot argue with the entertainment this team is putting out there on the field on nearly a daily basis.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Who's Next? London

On the 23rd, I penned an article which asked, not rhetorically, who'd be next in the Islam hit parade.  Specifically, I stated the following: 

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

We had to wait a little bit more than a week.

How long will we continue to put up with this?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Rare Earth - Get Ready (Plus Discussion on Top Drummer Lead Vocalists)

Rare Earth was rare indeed - one of the very few white acts that signed to the Motown label.  That being said, they definitely had a funky vibe:

Beyond that rarity, they also had a drummer that handled the lead vocals.  In thinking about that, there are a couple that stand out, so in honor of Rare Earth's Peter Rivera, I give you my top five lead vocalist drummers:

5) Peter Rivera - Rare Earth: See above

4) Peter Criss - Kiss: While Criss is best known for the first ever hard rock ballad Beth, it is a song that never featured drums.  Go figure.  Despite that, Criss handled leads on Kiss classics like Nothin' to Lose and their best song ever, Black Diamond

3) Levon Helm - The Band: The Band's classic sound would be missing everything if not for Helm's distinctive sound.

2) Phil Collins - Genesis (and solo): He saved Genesis as a band upon the departure of lead singer Peter Gabriel, then launched a wildly successful solo career, with much of it conducted from behind the set.

1) Don Henley - The Eagles: The song Hotel California shows both sides of his performance so perfectly - the driving beats and the unmistakable velvety vocals.  

Now, let's discuss who's not on the list:

  • Ringo Starr - The Beatles: His vocals are terrible, as is his drumming.  In fact, much of the material from the later albums featured drumming from other members of the Beatles instead of from Starr
  • Dave Grohl - Nirvana and Foo Fighters: While a great drummer and a great singer, Grohl never focused on doing both at the same time while with either band
  • Micky Dolenz - The Monkees: This one was hard.  It's not Micky's fault that they had forced them to accept other musicians playing for the Monkee lineup.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

CNN Fires Kathy Griffin

I must admit that I'm surprised by CNN's action.  I really felt that they'd hide behind "Free Speech" (like there is such a thing anymore) and look for a reason to keep her on.  Certainly, their New Year's Eve ratings would be through the roof.

Good for you, CNN.  You did the right thing, regardless of what you may have truly felt.

Maybe there truly are some fair-minded people in the press.  

Ireland Day 7

I've been trying to clean up the blog, and in going through my unpublished drafts, found some golden oldies to share.  The photos below were from our last full day in Ireland a couple of years ago.  The first couple of photos are from an old monastery ruins, with some random coast shots thrown in.

The best shot is of our team on this trip.  That includes Mrs. YDP, my Mom, and our driver Liam, who, as you can see, was pretty darned fresh for my Mom.

We had an incredible trip, and it's fun to go back and look at how wonderful it was