Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Zac Brown Band - Enter Sandman

Up here in DL at our recent We Fest they did this exact same riff, leading into the Metallica classic:



As I volunteered to work our shirt booth for work, I happened to be there.  I also happened to be wearing my Metallica t shirt:

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

At least one guy was there ready to rock.

Aside: I once used the intro to this song as my "walk up" music to a speech I gave.  It literally is one of my top ten career highlights, and is the closest thing to rocking out on a stage that I'll ever do.

Friday, August 18, 2017

New Ankle Brace from Amazon

As I'm rehabbing my ankle, my doc suggested some ankle suppression socks.  Nothing fancy, just something to help the circulation in my injured area.

I headed off to Amazon and found the socks shown below.  They had high ratings and a decent price, so why not.  This is what I got:




  • They're "Nkle Support," which is just an "A" away from what I was looking to get
  • They're also "Best Quality," which just rocks
  • And look, they come with Boots Circulation as well.  Bonus!
  • Hold it just a freaking minute.  "Reduce Swilling?"  I didn't sign up for that.  Not at all.
I wonder what Amazon's return policy is?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Where the Historical Purge Leads

It is astonishing to me to see the desire by so many on the left to entirely purge any touchstone that exists to our country's history before the outlawing of slavery.  We've just seen the very start of elimination of flags, statues, names, and other items that fall on the wrong side of 2017 sensitivities.  In fact, I believe that this process will continue until all offending images, symbols, and names have been purged from our national consciousness.

Once we're there, will we be in alignment?  Will our world finally be made alright?  Of course not.  In fact, race relations will likely be far degraded from the sorry state in which we currently find ourselves.  

But all offense has been removed.  What now will balance the field and reconcile us for our sinful past?

One concept: reparations.  

Indeed, the purge of our history won't be enough.  We must atone for what our forefathers did, and the only way to do that is to pay up.  

We're quickly moving toward a world made up of those that pay (or force others to pay) or those that are deemed racists.  Two camps - two camps only.  Kind of like now, but with a lot more at stake.

Buckle up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Checking Out in Seattle

I made my way down to my major-franchise hotel lobby in Seattle last week, looking to check out ahead of my 6:00 AM Uber ride to the airport.  I was a little bleary from a night of not sleeping as I never sleep well ahead of a travel day.  Thankfully, the hotel had a fresh hot pot of Starbucks Pike Place, and the joe was a positive jolt to the system.

I made my way to the front desk to hand over my room key and looking up at me from behind the desk, I saw this:



While this is obviously Phil Hartman as his great character Susan, I'm not that far off.  Horrible wig, worn askew.  Makeup everywhere.  Stereotype fake female voice.  It was as much of jolt as the coffee that was flowing through my system.

I didn't expect it and was taken aback.  This person's look was not one of trying to look like a gender in which they biologically were not.  This person's look was "I'm clearly going to look like a man horribly made up to be a woman..."

Furthermore, implicit in that look was "...and you're going to have to deal with it."

I've seen a lot of cross gender folks, and don't care about it or them.  In fact, such confusion on something as innate as one's gender has to be a horrible and conflicted way to live, and I've often felt a lot of compassion for their plight.  It has to be incredibly hard - way harder than I could hope to understand.  

Want to know how hard?  The suicide attempt rate for transgender folks is 41%.  That's not a typo and I'm not missing a decimal.  

I don't care what you do or who you love.  As long as nobody gets hurt, it's none of my damn business.  However, when interacting with the hospitality industry, I expect to be treated as a guest (especially when I'm paying over $400 a night for a hotel room).  I don't expect to have such an "in your face" confrontation of acceptance.  

Want to be a woman?  Great.  Feeling like a man today?  Bully.  Want to "shock" me by barely doing either?  Fine as well.

Just not on my dime, OK?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hobby Horsing - The New "Sport"

There isn't a lot one can say about this, other than I feel like we're somehow doomed...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Insanity in Charlottesville

The has already been a lot written on this topic and I regret that I have not much more to add.  However, the one point that seems that can't be stressed enough is how much all sides need to tone it down.  The discourse, which starts on social media and spreads into spitting on each other in the street, has become far too heated and far too personal.  The demonization of anyone that doesn't think exactly like we do has simply gone too far.

It would serve us all well if everybody just chilled.  Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.  Social and traditional media is just way more interesting when it has some emotion attached to it, hence the worst of our communications will continue to rise to the top and will continue to fan the flames of hatred.

We're quickly losing the ability to accept those with whom we disagree.  It's being replaced with hate, and that hate is increasingly turning violent.  

I fear we've not seen anything yet...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Mrs. YDP

23 years today.  Hard to believe that it has been that long.  

Sometimes the trail has been easy.  Sometimes it goes uphill a long way.  But through it all you're always there by my side.



Happy anniversary.  I love you to the mountains and back.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday Song Share: Semisonic - Singing in Your Sleep

Local Minnesota band done good.

Singing up to a Capulet
on a balcony in your mind


Friday, August 11, 2017

The Puzzle of Business Travel

This week I'm in Seattle on my first business trip with my new company.  I don't expect to be doing much travel in my new capacity, so this is a rare opportunity for me to get some time out on the road.

Business travel can be hard.  It's tough to keep up at work, sleep comes at a premium, hassles are everywhere, and the diet usually suffers.  That being said, I do very much enjoy it, and I think it is because, to me, it is a big puzzle to solve.

What time to be where.  The best route to take.  Figuring out the best way to get a potential upgrade.  Finding the gate.  All of it is kind of like a big sudoku puzzle to solve.  Even when things go totally sideways with things like cancelled flights and overbooked hotels, there is still a component of those situations that energizes me due to my need to figure out the best way out of my mess.

While I don't think I'd like to do it every week like some, it is nice to be back on the road, albeit for a short and infrequent trip.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bloomington Mosque Bombing and the Precedent for an Inside Job

I take a daily news feed from Jihad Watch as they are about the only news source out there that consistently reports what Islam is bringing into the world.  They are clear eyed, founded in Islamic writings, teachings, and text, and most importantly, unafraid.

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I'm skeptical about the Bloomington, MN mosque bombing being perpetrated by an Islamophobe.  It just doesn't add up to me. 

The only thing that does add up is that it was an inside job.

Fortunately, Jihad Watch feels the same way, and has some incredible data to back up their thoughts:


Muslima arrested for setting Iowa mosque on fire June 25, 2017 

That's 10 different situations in less than four years.  You can get the links here.

Something tells me we might have a new one to add to this list before too long...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RIP Glen Campbell

These posts are getting a little too common...

Guitar virtuoso and velvet voiced Glen Campbell finally succumbed to the effects of Alzheimer's and passed away yesterday.  A man of massive talents, he brought country into the mainstream via his popular TV show and via crossover hits like Wichita Lineman and Rhinestone Cowboy

Unfortunately, he also had massive problems, and his cocaine abuse and alcoholism kept him from even greater heights.  Yet, despite those setbacks, his talent showed through.

Want proof?  Even mired in the depth of his Alzheimer's he managed to release the following:



He was an American icon, a master musician, and a rare combination of talent, charm and looks.

You might not miss us, Glen, but we'll miss you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RIP Don Baylor

MLB lost a great one yesterday as Don Baylor passed away.  Baylor was a flat out stud, and while he compiled many prestigious awards (AL MVP, Manager of the Year, Roberto Clemente Award, etc.) to me, he'll always be known for his ability to get hit by the pitch.  Indeed, he ranks 4th all time in that unique stat.

Note that he accomplished this in an era before all of the "armour" worn by today's players.  When Baylor got hit, it hit meat and bone.  But when it happened, you'd barely know by looking at Baylor.  He never grimaced or rubbed the offending wound.  He'd just throw his bat down and run to first.  As I said, a flat stud.

He also was a hired gun that the Twins used to bring home their first-ever World Series championship.  Here's a bit of a taste of that:



Rest in peace.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bloomington MN Mosque Bombing Smells Like BS

Image result for bloomington mn mosque
Last week, in Bloomington, Minnesota, a mosque was "attacked" with some kind of bomb at 5:00 AM.  A witness claims to have seen a "pickup truck" drive away from the site at a rapid rate of speed.  Nobody was hurt, but immediately calls went up decrying the racism rampant in our society, and the abject hate that exists in the Twin Cities for those of the Muslim faith.

I may be wrong, but this whole story seems just that to me - a story.  Indeed, a bomb went off within a mosque.  However, there are a couple of things that don't add up:

  • If you hate Islam so much that you're willing to bomb a local mosque, why use such a weak bomb?  Likewise, if your hate has driven you to bomb, why set it off when there would be no casualties?  
  • If the answers to the questions above were "they just wanted to send a message," wouldn't an easier way to do that (and one that can avoid federal prison) be to just spray paint the building with your grievances?
  • Realy hate Muslims?  Why not just go picking fights with them?  None of that has been reported at all.
I don't believe this was a hate crime.  In fact, I think this was an act of distraction, designed to take the pressure of the situation of a Muslim cop killing a white woman in cold blood, by someone sympathetic to the Muslim cause in Minneapolis.

If something looks and smells like this much bullshit, it usually is.  

I'm happy to apologize if I'm wrong, but I think in the days and weeks ahead, we're going to find out there are some really funny things going on with this story.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Aflac Hates Men

Don't believe me?  Check it out:



Wasn't that funny?  Stupid, white dad nearly killed the vacation.  Men are so selfish!  And dumb!

Now imagine this same ad with mom hurt.  Or the kid hurt.  Or with Muslim dad.  Or homosexual dad.  Or black dad.

Can't imagine it?  Me either.  That's because nobody is more universally hated than a white man.  This ad is another in a long line of ads that help prove it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017

Procter and Gamble "The Talk" Video

One of the biggest names in consumer products has waded into the national dialog on race.  One could expect how this turns out:



The stereotypes here are nearly laughable - the white kids chasing down the black kid in a clearly Southern locale (and called him the "N" word to boot).  The fact that there is so much abject racism in our society that in order to compete with whites that blacks need "to work twice as hard and be twice as smart."  That when cops stop blacks in America, the cops kill them.  Happens all the time.

All we missed were images of the Klan, because the Klan is everywhere.  Swing and a miss, P&G...

How does this advance our society?  What is the goal of this message?  

Most importantly, how in the hell is this going to sell more Tide?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ben Shapiro - My New Man Crush

I've bumped into Ben Shapiro a bunch in the past, and have consistently found him to be learned and measured in how he covers political hot buttons.  His rhetorical skills are among the best I've ever seen, and I find his engagements with folks on the other side of the political spectrum as riveting.

I've recently started listening to his daily podcasts and have been enjoying them greatly.  Here's a little sample of his engagements and speaking style:


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Yale and Haerter - A Story of What Marines Do

From a speech from Lt. General John Kelly:

Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour.

Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines.

The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island.

They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” “You clear?” I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way—perhaps 60-70 yards in length—and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped.

Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different.

The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event—just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion.

All survived. Many were injured … some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”

What he didn’t know until then, he said, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.”

“No sane man.”

“They saved us all.”

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “ … let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”

The two Marines had about five seconds left to live. It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were—some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers—American and Iraqi—bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have know they were safe … because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber.

The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. 

Six seconds.


Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Twins Officially Selling, Officially Done

The 2017 Minnesota Twins' season is over.

Entertaining as hell for much of this season, especially the start where the Twins held first place for a good, long time, it's now over.  Jaime Garcia, a move designed to take them to the playoffs, was cast off after only one start.  Now All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler has been shipped off to Washington.

Both were at the end of their contracts and were free agents next year.  However, both were valuable players on a team suddenly bereft of them.  Hence, the white flag gets hoisted and we look to 2018.

33 days until college football.

38 days until the NFL.

66 days until the NHL.

But who's counting?
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