Monday, July 31, 2017

Fat Boy on a Bike

On June 14 of this year is when I had my most recent run.  Coming out of that run, my Achilles ankle was killing me, and I have literally been waiting for it to get better ever since.  It is still sore, and I've now engaged the help of the medical community.  X rays and MRIs show small tears in the tendon and inflammation, despite not stressing it over the past six weeks.  I now start physical therapy this week in an attempt to make things better.

In the meantime, I've been living like a king.  Beer has been flowing in great quantities, and way too many meals of dubious caloric benefit have been consumed.   As a result, in the period in which I've not been running (or doing anything else for that matter) I've packed on about 10 pounds.


Running has been a huge benefit for me.  In fact, in many ways it appears to be the only thing that has been able to keep my weight in check.  With it now off the table for the medium term (and perhaps forever?), I need to get my life in order.

I have been biking some, specifically to and from work, but my work schedule has been crazy, and with Mrs. YDP with a broken leg, I need to be able to get home quickly over lunch to take care of her.  Hence, I'm going to need to go back to getting up early and getting some kind of workout in before work.

I've been successful the past two days, and have got in an hour bike ride both days.  It's great in that it is less stressful on my joints.  Unfortunately, I don't get the same kind of workout biking like I do running.  Part of that is on me - it is just easier to take things lighter when biking.  When taking things light in running, one ends up walking.

I know biking works.  My brother is in incredible shape due to biking, and my cousin has found great success in it as well.  I need to figure it out.

Stay tuned and I'll keep you updated on progress. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vacation Recap

We just got complete with the annual family trip up to Leech Lake.  It was successful all the way around.  Here's just a small taste of what transpired:

Here are my two beautiful nieces: 

It wouldn't be a vacation without the family volleyball game, and here a break is called due to a yellow dog and a tennis racquet on the court:

Just one of many fabulous sunsets we were treated to:

With her broken leg, vacation was hardest on Mrs. YDP:

My niece and one of Leech Lake's finest:

My Mom with her last day clutch pike:

My nephew with a record nasty fish:

We close with a video compiled by my niece:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Bums in Congress

Despite a massive voter mandate for it, the repeal and replacement of Obamacare is dead.  I won't go into the technical nuances of why as they're unimportant.  The real issue is the abject failure of politicians to do anything that might put them at jeopardy.

When self-preservation is more important than fixing a major crisis in our nation and economy, then something is wrong.  Hence, the usual reaction applies - term limits, throw the bums out next election, etc.

But none of that will happen.  There are too many pigs that need to be fed in order for that to happen.  Hence, will continue to elect the same old bums, because they're OUR bums, and they feed their pigs well.

That is the state of politics in 2017. And that is why our nation is in the place that it is in.  

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

When a Killing by a Cop Doesn't Matter

In international news, an Australian woman in Minneapolis was killed by a cop on Saturday under very suspicious circumstances.  She was the one that called 911, was in her pajamas, and came out to meet the police.  When she did, one of the officers grabbed for his gun and discharged it.  The round went through the door and killed the woman.

Ordinarily, the media would be all over this, as would Black Lives Matter, as would Governor Dayton.  Unfortunately, there is one little problem - the officer in this case is Somali.  

Ordinarily, when a cop appears to kill a citizen in cold blood, there is a shut down of I-94, cries of abject racism, and accusations of outright murder.  But when a Muslim does it, and better yet kills a white person, then there just has to be some kind of circumstance which would easily explain the event.

No marches.  No demands for firing.  

If we were playing jump to conclusions like is normally done, perhaps we'd assume that the officer came upon not only a kafir, but a scantily dressed one at that.  Her lack of modesty is punishable by death in a number of Muslim lands, and the good officer took it upon himself to mete out some Sharia justice and rid the world of the infidel offender.  Right?

How does that feel? 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Steely Dan - Don't Take Me Alive

Pretty sure I saw them on this tour (early 00's, I believe), but Michael McDonald was not on keyboards.

This is when Fagen still had his magic.

Great stuff:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Do We Do with North Korea?

Last week, unhinged and insane nuclear power North Korea successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that all unanimously agree is capable of hitting Alaska, and might be capable of hitting Hawaii.  While we don't know if they've figured out delivering a nuclear payload in such a flight, it doesn't seem too much of a task.  Likewise, given their missile program progression, it is only a matter of time before they develop a missile capable of hitting the continental US.

For two decades now or so, North Korea has blustered that it will attack the United States with a nuclear attack.  Originally considered by other administrations as bluster aimed at controlling the populace, over the past number of years, it is clear that their actions belie anything but bluster.  They want a nuke that they can launch against us.

Once they have it, would they really use it?  They have told us over and over and over again that they will.  Leadership has also told their people they will.  Once they have it, it sure will appear weak if Kim Jong-un doesn't use it.

The can has been kicked down the road, and we've now reached that end.  So what do we do?

We certainly do not let San Francisco reach 100 million degrees Fahrenheit.  We also can't attack directly, lest the entire North Korean nuclear arsenal be unleashed on the Korean peninsula.  The only answer is to take out Kim Jong-un, and to do it both publically and quickly.  It comes with a massive amount of risk, but by comparison to the other options, appears to have the least amount.

It is a lousy position to be in.  Unfortunately, presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama left this a job to be done by some other president.  It looks like Trump is going to need to be that president. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monty Python - Spam

And now for something completely different...

In honor of Spam's 80th birthday last week here is on of my favorite sketches from the boys:

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Church in Crisis. Again.

I'd be negligent if I didn't wade into the latest crisis in the Catholic Church.  

It seems the Vatican police department broke up a drug-fueled gay orgy last week.  It just so happened to occur at the home of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is in charge of tackling clerical sexual abuse.  He is the secretary to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio - a key aide to the 80-year-old Pope Francis.

I love my church deeply, and things like this cut so deep.  The ledger of the good the Catholic Church does versus its ills is not even a match, yet the evil that acts within the confines of the Church gets all the press.

That's understandable.  Everyone likes a hypocrite story.  

Why does this continue to happen?  Unfortunately, the Chruch has humans, and humans sin.  Some of their sins are unspeakable - just like others in every other walk of life.  Likewise, for those truly touched by evil, what better place to hide and/or disrupt than the Church?

I can't excuse this, and if laws were broken, all must be punished to the full extent of the law.  In the meantime, I continue to pray that in the never-ended fight of walking with Christ versus sinning, that goodness will prevail.

I just wish it didn't have to apply to my Church.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Trevor Hall - The Lime Tree

It took a while for you to find me
I was hiding in the lime tree

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Caribou Coffee Doesn't Get It

Last Friday I had called an 8:00 meeting.  The culture of my new company is that things start to get rolling about 9:00, so meetings earlier than that, or later than 4:00, are routinely frowned upon.  

Compare that to the old place, where 7:00AM and 5:00PM meeting starts were commonplace.  Yikes.

To compensate the attendees of my unwelcomed early start, I promised coffee as part of the meeting, and that morning I drove over to our local Caribou Coffee to load up on a box for the attendees.  I got there about 7:30, and was the only customer in the place.  Walking up to the counter, I inquired,  "Do you have one of those coffee box thingies?"  "Yes," came the answer from behind the counter, "but we need 24 hours notice, and we don't do them on weekends."


All I was asking for was them to fill up a box with coffee.  It would have taken 45 seconds.  Likewise, since I was the only customer in the place, I wouldn't exactly be putting other customers out by my order.  Finally, it was hardly the weekend, unless those start on Friday mornings now (in which case I've been really wasting a lot of my weekends).

I flashed her the "I can't believe you're going to make me do this" face, but she just returned a scowl.  Rules are rules, damn it.

"OK," I said, "please give me eight medium black coffees," which was the fluid equivalent of one of those boxes.  Hence, I was still ordering all of that coffee.  Except now it would take longer to pull together in that there were 8 cups to fill, close, and put into carriers.  And it would be done without 24 hours notice, and during a "weekend" for Pete's sake.

Retail 101 - If your customer wants to buy something, sell it to them.  If rules prevent you from doing so, your company is stupid and you should work somewhere where using your brain is appreciated.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thoughts on Unpacking

Over the long weekend of the 4th I did a lot of unpacking.  The majority of my focus was spent on the garage; placing stuff in shelving as we attempt to move a gigantic house's worth of stuff into a much smaller abode.  It is clear that we still have way too many things, and as I wade through it all, I'm so regretful.  I wish I had even a fraction of the original money that those things cost.  Fool.

Part of my time was spent going through files, and I was reminded of the prestigious roles I've held the privilege that came with them.  Equity agreements, insurance policies, Gold status with Delta - it was all so wonderful.  Then I ran into my performance review from my old boss, and I saw how much I was vilified, if not abjectly hated.  

I finally shredded that review.  Not sure why I held onto it that long.

The weekend way made all the more frustrating as I've been attempting necessary repairs on the new place.  Half of what I've done has been successful, but half again has been an unmitigated failure.  My failure was punctuated last night with the total collapse of a shelf that I had built, and the resulting crash sounded like the entire city's fireworks show had gone off in our garage.

Not a fun long weekend.  It is getting way too long to get into the house and enjoy things.  I still haven't fished since mid-May, I've golfed only one, I have been on the lake a grand total of one time despite paying for lake access and having a dock slip, and in nearly every room of our new home is a stack of things needing to be addressed.

This really kind of sucks. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Declaration of Independence

Take a minute and read it.  Then think about the men that signed their name to this, and the risks associated with that act:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton


John Hancock


Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton


George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton


Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross


Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple


Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery


Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

Monday, July 3, 2017

"You'll Be Back" from Hamilton

An incredibly fast version (the singer did an outstanding job keeping up with an insanely quick piano) of one of the catchiest songs from the musical.

Also, the reason why we have a 4th of July.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Alice Cooper on Being a Christian

"Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion." -- Alice Cooper

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Portugal. The Man - Feel it Still

I could seriously listen to this song over and over and over again.  

Weird video, but the song is as catchy as hell.

Ooh woo, I'm a rebel just for kicks, now
Let me kick it like it's 1986, now

Might be over now, but I feel it still