Friday, September 28, 2018

Kavanaugh Trial is the OJ Trial. Part Two

Welcome to the OJ trial.  You know it well.  One aggrieved portion of our society is going to finally make the other side pay via their day in court, and it matters not what the evidence does or doesn't show.  Women have been suffering at the hands of men since the dawn of time, and now men are finally going to pay, rule of law be damned.

And when it's all over, we'll hate each other even more.  

Do I believe Ford?  I believe something happened to her.  Do I believe Kavanaugh?  I do indeed.  Beyond her testimony, is there one piece of evidence to back up Ford's claim of Kavanaugh's guilt?  Not one.  In fact, what Ford claims as evidence isn't corroborated anywhere.  Her "evidence" exonerates Kavanaugh!

While Ford is credible, her specific accusations against Kavanaugh are not.  Not at all.

Doesn't matter.  Just like white folks had to pay in the OJ trial, regardless of the evidence, men need to pay now.  That's why, at the protest at the capitol, a woman was wearing a "men are trash" t-shirt.  Not "Kavanagh."  Not "abusers."  


And was lauded for it.

You can own one too.  There are plenty of options out there.  Just Google it.

Nearly 25 years after OJ, and race relations are worse than they've been before the trial.  Oh, sure, we elected a black president.  And what did that get us?  Things getting continually worse.  Expect the same from the Kavanaugh event, regardless of what happens in the actual decision.

I fear this is the start of something terrible that will absolutely tear our families, our communities, and our nation apart.  Hate reigns.  

To invoke Johnny Cochran:

If she claims she's aggrieved
She MUST be believed

That's our rule of law now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Most Parents Don't Monitor Kids' Time Online

Check out the latest via a survey from UKIE on parental monitoring of kids' time online:

35% can spend as much time as they want online?  Another 30% have limits that aren't enforced?

What kind of generation are we raising, and what are going to be the associated ramifications?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Duck Opener 2018

Things were quite slow in the duck camp this past weekend.  What started with flocks of teal sitting in our decoys minutes before legal shooting ended with basically no birds.  My partner and I bagged a total of four for the weekend, and if not for three Canada geese taken, our haul would have been pathetic.

Reports of a nearby lake were gangbusters, and that has me worried.  Literally less than three miles away they were bagging 20+ birds, where on our lake we were lucky to see 20 birds total.  What's wrong with our lake and our habitat?  Perhaps the ducks see the same thing I do when they look at our water - a sick green color caused by extensive farm runoff.  Big ag, in all its murky, disgusting, and revolting form.

Will things get better?  We stand a chance.  Previous seasons like this were salvaged by middle season redheads, canvasbacks, and mallards.  Unfortunately, we're weeks away from them getting here, so our only choice is to wade out into the green filthy water and wait. 

It could be a very tough season, indeed.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Fire Zimmer


The Vikings, a 16 point favorite against the hapless Buffalo Bills (a team so bad that they had a player retire in the middle of the game last week) were destroyed on their home field by a score of 27-6.  In my lifetime of Vikings football fandom, this was hands down their worst loss, ever.

Every aspect of their game was broken - so much so that I won't recap them here.  Simply, nothing worked.

I think it is time for us to take full stock of what we have here.  This is a team that was handed a loss last year at home during the playoffs by New Orleans, only to be saved by a miracle play.  They then went forward and were completely dismantled in Philadelphia.

Their defense isn't that good.  Kirk Cousins isn't that good.  And when the team is so ill-prepared by the coaching staff that they get blown out on their home field by the worst team in the NFL, the only place the blame can be laid is at the foot of the coach.  Zimmer should be fired.

He won't be, of course.  The Vikings have a short week, and the disruption of a coaching change right now would ensure a blowout loss to the league-leading Rams on Thursday.  However, unless the Vikes somehow pull off a miracle in LA, it would not surprise me if ownership of a 1-2-1 team pulled the plug on Zimmer on the flight home.

I'm tired of hearing how good we are.  If this team can't back up their boasts with their play, either they need to go or Zimmer does.

As a Vikings fan, things can't be much worse than right now.  

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saturday Song Share: The 4onthefloor - All My Friends

I simply can't love this Minnesota band enough.  We'll be doing more from their library in the future, but for the time being, let's start with my favorite:


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Kavanaugh Accusation Nothing But a Hit Job

Sorry, but the 23rd hour accusation that Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape someone 35 years ago when he was 17 is nothing but a delay tactic from Democrats.  Consider:

  • Democrat leadership had this "accusation" for months, yet sat on it until the last hour
  • The accuser offers no corroborating evidence
  • She claims a witness to the event, who, like Kavanaugh, states emphatically that the situation never occurred
  • The accuser told nobody of this event until a couple of years ago when Kavanaugh was being considered for SCOTUS
Save me the tripe about her passing a lie detector test.  First off, she's a psychology professor.  Second, in my Psych 101 class we actually covered how to beat a lie detector test.

Save me as well the tripe about her risking all.  Please.  Her book deal, HBO special, and Go Fund Me page will make her a millionaire.  She's winning the lottery.

This is politics at its absolute worst.

And the worst part?  Women that have credible stories of abuse at the hands of men - stories from the current decade and involve 911 calls for example - they take a credibility hit. 

Or not.  Nobody on the Dem side was going to believe anyone that accused Keith Ellison of anything, right? 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Asian Signage in McDonalds

These guys were hitting their local McDonalds and not seeing any advertising that looked like them.  So what did they do?  They made some:

It actually hung in the store for over 50 days.

Love this prank.  Makes a point, hurt nobody, and was ingenious as hell.  Kudos.

Monday, September 10, 2018

SJU Hype Video

I work with a video production team that graduated from St. John's.  While they're fresh out of school, they do incredible work, and SJU has employed them on a number of projects.

Here's the latest:

Go back and check out that shot of the touchdown run at the :15 second mark.  That's some incredible video work, no matter how you slice it.

There's not much better as a job than to be able to work with incredibly talented people, and that they happen to be Johnnies?  That's just icing on the cake.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Where Do We Go From Here

An unaccountable Pope.  An unrepentant and stonewalling church leadership.  A complete lack of progress, other than to wait things out and hope it gets better.

Where is my church?  

In the middle of all this, we're treated to stories like that of the two priests in Florida having sex with each other.  In public.  In the middle of the day.  Next to a playground.

My confidence in church leadership has gone.  Where we go from here is anyone's guess, but it sure looks like it is no place good.

Evil reigns.

Oh my Jesus
Save us from the fires of hell
Lead all souls to heaven
Especially those in most need of Thy mercy

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Gift of Notre Dame

As I was watching Notre Dame play Michigan last week, I really got emotional.  That team, that stadium, that place is so rife with tradition.  I'm so fortunate I got to experience so much of it.  You see, my brother went to school at Notre Dame, and that means by extension, so did his family.

It started out with me going out there when we were both in school, and while I can't remember the game itself (who they played or the score, although I think it may have been a win against Purdue...), I absolutely remember everything else about it - the walk from the church to the game, the band, the pushups, the site, the song.  It was college football heaven.

See for yourself:

Since that first visit, there've been many others.  I've guess I've seen ND play well over a half dozen times in the stadium, plus a couple of more on the road at bowl games.  That's why when the broadcast showed the grotto in an intro, or took a shot from the end zone (where I'd bet we sat at least four times), or anything else that was familiar, I just felt lucky.  I felt lucky that my brother was generous enough to share all this with me.  

And that's what it was (and still is) - generosity.  From carting me around and showing me things that had likely become mundane when we were young students, to finding excuses for us to get together for a game when life had become so busy as adults, Notre Dame was a gift given to me by him.  

The Irish Guard.  Key plays.  The flyovers.  The band.  The announcer.  Touchdown Jesus.  #1 Moses.  The players (my goodness, the players we saw).  

But out of all of that, the best part was always this:

Thanks, Kev.  This is just one in a long line of gifts you've given me, and I can't thank you enough for letting me be a part of your alma mater.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Duck Forecast 2018

The latest numbers got released a couple of weeks ago.  Here's how the flight is shaping up for duck season 2018:
While the long-term population is up, we're down a sizable amount from last year.  A 13% reduction in birds is a significant loss, so while numbers are still healthy, hunters will likely notice fewer birds than last year.

Beyond that, the breeding population analysis shows area for concern as well.

Enjoy 2018, duck hunters.  It may be the last good one we have in a while.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Nike Walks Away from Customers

By now you've surely heard that Nike has launched their latest version of their famed "Just Do It" campaign, but this one is featuring Colin Kaepernick:

There have been a lot of responses to this, the best being a replacement of Kaepernick's face with fallen hero Pat Tillman.  There's sacrificing everything, then there's sacrificing everything.  

I won't get into rehashing the whole Kaepernick, Black Lives Matter, kneeling protest.  There's enough of that out there.  But you know what else Nike thinks there's enough of out there?  Customers.  The whole NFL thing has divided a country, and by picking a side, Nike has effectively pissed off millions - let me state that again - MILLIONS of customers.  Much like Dick's Sporting Goods did with guns, Nike is deeming it more important to be a Social Justice Warrior than it is to serve its customers.

Perhaps they feel that their SJW move can endear them to other non-Nike customers, and woke folks buying other brands will flock to Nike and offset non-woke customers.  Perhaps they just don't care, and like so many nowadays, they believe they're right, and if you don't agree with them then you're a bigot and you don't deserve to buy Nikes anyway.  I don't know.

As a marketer, I do know that acquiring customers and protecting market share, especially in a mature category like shoes, is a bare-knuckled fight.  It's damned hard work.  

Given how hard it is, why would you ever simply walk away from people that literally ensure that you have food on the table?  

I'm so tired of politics everywhere, and I'm particularly tired of politics in sports.  It used to be a last bastion where folks of different persuasions could find common ground.  Now, you either prove how woke you are, or you run the risk of being a racist, fascist, Nazi, or homophobe, even when following your favorite team.

Regardless of my political slant, the marketer in me wishes Nike nothing but failure.  The minute you take your customers for granted, especially for something like not being woke enough for you, that's the time your long-term business prospects are dubious.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Time for Action

I've had it.  The Pope's silence cannot be tolerated any further.  It's time.

As Catholics, we must demand action, not silence. To this point, it seems like that actions that have been taken have all been evil. Abuse.  Sacrilege.  Depravity.  Devastation. Cover-up. 


I want the righteous of Christ’s Church to go on offense. Evil cannot be ignored anymore.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Mary J Blige & U2 - One

This is my favorite U2 song, and while it has been covered by greats such as Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, and the Cowboy Junkies, this is more than just my favorite cover.

It's my favorite version.

Her soaring, at times angry vocals bring out an emotion that is more under the surface in the original version.  She does what any great artist does when covering a great song - she makes it her own.

Just wow:

Friday, August 31, 2018

Cardinal Cupich Serves Left Air Cover for Pope

Chicago Cardinal Cupich states that it is more important for Pope Francis to protect the environment and migrants than it is to heal the church of its current scandal.

I'm not kidding:

We have credible claims of a coverup at the level of the Pope, we have scandal after scandal breaking, we have a Pope that won't comment, and we have underlings like Cupich offering up air cover by dog whistling leftist talking points like immigration and climate change.

What is happening?

I cry for Christ's church, and I mean that in the most literal of senses.

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins
Lead all souls to heaven
Especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy

Thursday, August 30, 2018

White House Press Briefing - Bad Lip Reading

Just when I think these guys can't get any better, along comes this:

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Gillette and the Power of Great Advertising

Consider Gillette and their razors. About as boring of a product as there is. Their business has been suffering from the Dollar Shave Clubs and other similar competitors that are out there. Likewise, CPG is about as cutthroat as competition gets, and they’re in the middle of it. Their top and bottom lines are being challenged at the same time, and significantly so.

Then they go and do this:

The market on this new, fringe product is tiny (albeit growing). In the grand scheme of Gillette's business, it's a rounding error. Yet someone in product development cared enough to propose this product, someone in Marketing was able to justify its existence, and someone in Advertising was able to give it life. It was an uphill battle the entire way, but they ultimately green lit it, brought it forward, and took it to market.

Not because it was the right thing to do financially. But because it was the right thing to do. And that enabled them to take credit for it.

Good marketing and advertising can do that. It can take a tiny concept of a product, with a rounding error for potential incremental sales, and develop something with a massive halo effect that has the potential to buttress its entire brand against Dollar Shave and all the other direct-to-consumer providers that have been taking chunks out of their market share.

That’s the power of great advertising.

Kudos, Gillette.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bishop of Crookston Doesn't Get It

In our Sunday bulletin this week we were treated to a letter to the faithful from our Bishop regarding the current state of our Catholic Church.  We were subjected to the usual about the evil of it all and the pain it has caused.  We even got some mention of investigations involving "qualified laypersons," which is more than usually gets said.

Then we get this, "I ask you to sacrifice by fasting and abstaining from eating meat on Fridays as a prayer to Almighty God for the forgiveness of sins and as a prayer for guidance of the Holy Spirit that all might do better."


I need to fast so that "All might do better?"  

You have my prayers, Bishop.  However, until I start seeing some real tangible actions that seek to root this evil out, your words are just that.  They're words we've been treated to over, and over, and over again.  

It's not my job to fast.  It's your job to purge our Church of the evil that is hidden, and worse, protected in it.

Talk about tone deaf.

Monday, August 27, 2018

We Need Answers, Pope Francis

In news almost too shocking to fathom, Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganĂ² claims Pope Francis withdrew sanctions against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  McCarrick is an evil man with multiple crimes of sexual abuse, and ViganĂ²'s story about the Pope knowing and covering is credible.

More striking is Francis' failure to reply.

Not answering is not an answer.  If the Pope knew about McCarrick and did nothing, or worse covered for him, the Pope absolutely must resign.  

Our church is gravely sick.  The disease runs deep and must be purged, regardless of the cost.  Nobody should be above scrutiny.  

Including Pope Francis. 

Left Cries Crocodile Tears in McCain's Death

This weekend the United States lost a true hero.  John McCain conducted himself with honor and dignity, damn near his entire life, while those around him crawled through the sewer.  His actions in the Hanoi Hilton alone are renown, and his political service as truly been that - service.  He has been deservedly honored by those on the left and the right for his honorable service and for his legacy.

Except the left doesn't mean it.

In the campaign against Obama, McCain might as well have been Satan.  He was called out of touch and old at best, and warmonger, Nazi, and insane at worst.  He was hated, and everything about him was disparaged and dragged through the mud.

Remember stuff like this, from his Atlantic Monthly photo shoot?

THAT is just one small example what the left truly felt about John McCain, and what we were treated to during the election on a daily basis.  Not hero.  Not man of dignity.  Not a finder of common ground.  Nope, he was Satan.

He was treated just like every Republican presidential candidate from Bush on has been treated.  Nazi.  Warmonger.  Evil.

Save your tears, lefties.  You hated this man in a cruel and unfair way, and your unfair hatred ultimately paved a path for a rise of a guy like Trump.

Own it.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Kenny Chesny - Get Along

Paint a wall
Learn to dance
Call your mom 
Buy a boat
Drink a beer 
Sing a song
Make a friend 
Can't we all 
get along?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Blast from My Past

A couple of weeks ago I got an out of the blue communication from a buddy from my days at SJU.  It read as follows:


Hope this email finds you doing well.  I found this photo when I was looking for something for my daughter this morning.   It made me smile as I look at each of those faces and the great memories, reminds me to be thankful for those incredible friendships found at SJU.

I have been thinking about “The Boys” a lot this week as my daughter Brittney, who will be a senior at the U of M, called me in tears recently as she found out a very close friend had been killed while travelling overseas.  We experienced that too many times while in our 20’s, the loss of someone close and all the questions of why, why, why? 

Your smile in this photo is what prompted me to share this today; it made me smile and then laugh and then think about TP.

I have enjoyed reading your posts on Linkedin over the years so today is my turn to share something with you.

Have a great day,


TP is the guy on the far right, next to me.  After college, he joined the Marines, and near the end of a 9-mile speed march he collapsed and died.  He was one of the toughest guys I ever met in my life on the football field, and as an absolute teddy bear off it.  

I replied to my buddy:

Thanks for the generosity of your note - it totally made my day.  

The photo is from my ill-fated trip to Powder Ridge for tubing.  Given I'm still smiling in the photo, this is before me later blowing out my shoulder.  When we got back later I called my mom, from Sal's, as my shoulder hurt more than a bastard and I needed to figure out what I should do about it.  I literally passed out talking to her due to the pain, and some chick grabbed the phone and just starting making conversation with my mom while I lay unconscious on the floor.  Mom still talks about it...

That picture sure takes me back to a great day.  It was nice to see Tony again via the photo, as well as Cossie and Strike both looking like the kids we were.

Thanks again for taking the time to share.  Indeed. we've had our losses, but we also have far more incredible memories to offset them.  Thanks again for taking the time to share one with me.


We can't know God's plan for any of us, and while there have been some that He's taken from us far, far too soon, we have to be thankful what those people meant to us, and how our lives are richer because of our times with them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Bryce Carlson Rows Across the Atlantic

Here's the background:

What happened?  Not only did he row the 2,000 miles unaided across the Atlantic, he beat the previous record by two weeks.  Two weeks!

It took him 38 and a quarter days, but he did it.  It's not surprising that he also does ultramarathons, as the mental toughness required for such a feat is something normal people can't begin to fathom.

Fatigue.  Fear.  Loneliness.  Pain.  And oh, about a dozen capsizes.  

The human heart, body, and spirit are truly remarkable.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Jack in the Box - We Love Jack's Bowls

We don't have this burger chain up here in Minnesota, hence, the social media outrage of this campaign isn't on our radar screen.

What's the outrage?  This:

As of this writing, JITB has not apologized for this campaign.  For that, I give them credit.  It takes a lot of bowls to stand up to the social justice warriors...

Sunday, August 19, 2018

It's Hard to be Catholic

The latest scandal to hit the church is especially egregious.  The latest count has 300 Pennsylvania priests raping and abusing kids that number into the thousands.  The individual stories of abuse are so sick and depraved that they can only be defined as evil personified.  

That's personally why I'm struggling so much with this.  Lord knows this is hardly the only priest abuse scandal.  There have now been too many to count.  But while other cases and stories, numerous as they were, continued to pile up, we were saved details.  Not this time.  This time we were informed not only of the abuse but also of the nearly satanic efforts employed around it.  Incredibly evil and sacrilegious behavior and rituals.  

But that's just the start - which is a remarkable thing to type.  The cover-up and lack of any kind of action are where the evil really establishes its deepest roots.  It moves up the chain of the church to some of the highest levels.    

As a practicing Catholic, we cannot state that these are one-off behaviors.  They're not. Priest sexual misconduct (pedophilia, heterosexual, and homosexual) and its subsequent cover-up has been and continues to be an issue everywhere.


It has been that way for decades, and still exists today, and even at the highest levels of the church.  Just a little over a year ago Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay-sex party at an apartment belonging to an aide of one of Pope Francis’ key advisers.

As a Catholic - one that truly believes that this is Christ's church here on Earth, one that truly believes in the sacraments and what they mean, one who believes that the Holy Spirit has worked to guide it, one who believes that it is the outcome of Jesus' call to Peter to be the rock - I truly don't know what to do.

I'm angry.  I'm convinced more than ever that evil has permeated our church, and not just via behavior.  This is evil of a super-natural and satanic variety.  How could you not read the report out of PA and not come to the exact same conclusion?

This is Christ's church.  This is my church.  It is under attack from the inside.  I can either walk away, as millions and millions of Catholics have already done, or I can stay and fight.  

Is there a chance, or is the battle already lost?  Is the fight a righteous one, or an ignorant one?  

I have been shaken by this and I really, truly don't know what to do.  

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Wrabel - Sideways

We're not goin' up 
We're not goin' down
We're sideways, we're sideways, we're sideways

Friday, August 17, 2018

Sgt. John Chapman, Medal of Honor

A couple of things on this:

  • Has a MOH recipient ever been filmed during his heroics?  I think not.
  • The charge into the bunker was one of the bravest things I've ever seen filmed.
  • Sgt. Chapman continuous fighting, despite injuries and being vastly outgunned and outnumbered, were astonishing.
Think about whatever petty gripe you have going for you today.  Now watch this:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Ben Shapiro Breaks Down Trump's "Like a Dog"

Everybody is looking for Trump the racist.  Turns out, the guy just doesn't like dogs:

Yet another reason why my man-crush on Ben Shapiro continues...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Willie Dillie Chooses Suicide to Save Her Family

This is what Islam has wrought in the Netherlands.

How is this not front page news everywhere?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Happy Anniversary to Me

24 years ago today Mrs. YDP and I were wedded in a simple, but large and incredibly fun ceremony.  

It's interesting to look back at all that has transpired since that time.  We've been through a lot, no doubt, but along those lines, there's no doubt as well as to who I would have wanted at my side all of that time. 

I stand with her a year away from our silver anniversary and wonder where all the time went.  I also stand in dumbfounded appreciation for our life together.  I am stupidly happy.  And even when the inevitable pains of life come upon us, having her there makes everything more tolerable.

I'd like the say that I'm lucky, but that is hardly the word.  I'm blessed.

Happy anniversary, sweetheart.  

Happy.  That's exactly what you've provided me all these past 24 years. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Chris Stapleton - Broken Halos

Just about the time you think that what passes for country music nowadays is what the genre is doomed to wallow in, along comes a guy like this.

This is old school country.  This is how country should ALWAYS sound.  This guy kicks serious ass.

And he's the headliner for We Fest next year.  I think I'm going...

Thursday, August 9, 2018

YDP Fought the Law - Part 3

I made the call my Councilman had provided and was immediately put through to the Lieutenant in charge of the State Patrol contingency in Detroit Lakes.  I put my hat in my hands and began.  

"Lieutenant, I don't want to waste your time, but I'd like to tell you about an encounter I had with one of your officers.  I don't know if this conversation is even appropriate, so if it's going nowhere from your perspective, please let me know as your time is valuable," I stated.  "You're just fine," came the friendly reply.

I told my story and laid out my concerns.  I informed my contact about the bikers and the fact that they couldn't be missed as they had to dismount and walk around our vehicles.  I also conveyed that I was never provided with a chance to give my side of the story.  I stated, "I feel like this could have been avoided if I had just been given a chance to explain myself.  I'm not one of those guys that's going to say 'Let me explain...' during a traffic stop unless asked."  "Yeah, speaking from experience, that never works very well," replied the Lieutenant candidly.  He continued, "Just so I'm sure, are you concerned about the citation, the behavior of the officer, or both?"  I answered that it was definitely both.

I concluded with my line about state troopers and how they literally live and die by how traffic passes them while they're on the shoulder.  As such, I was surprised that so little discretion was afforded to me in my case.

As I was talking the Lieutenant was pulling up the citation and notes.  He conveyed that the trooper was from Moorhead, damn near a local, so my hopes for him not showing up in court were dashed.  He also explained that this was a good officer.  That being said, he'd call the officer in, review the dashcam video, and see what it showed and if it did or did not match the citation.

I extended my appreciation, letting the senior officer know that it felt good to just be listened to.  I also stated what I had learned about the new law.  The Lieutenant claimed to not know it but promised to research it.  I provided him with the number as a start.  He admitted, "We get a lot poured on our heads in this job, and sometimes the sponge doesn't pick up on all of it.  Regardless, I'll research it and get back to you on it."  I appreciated his candor.

While it felt good to finally explain myself, I was worried.  What did the dashcam capture?  Would the rumored "solid blue wall" apply?  Was there a chance that this could be rectified, or was a court date in my future?

At the end of the day, the Lieutenant finally called me back.  "Mr. YDP, I had a chance to talk to my officer on your case, and I'd like to tell you about it," he stated.  "Do you have a minute?"  Boy, did I ever.

The Lieutenant explained that he brought the officer in and asked to explain the stop and all he remembered about it.  The officer stated that as he was rounding the corner he saw me in the final stages of a pass in a no passing zone.  He pulled me over and ticketed me in a simple stop.  The Lieutenant then explained my side of the story, to which the officer replied, "Impossible.  There were no bikers."

With that, they began the dashcam tape.  It clearly showed what appeared to be me in a final stage of a pass, just as the officer claimed.  

It did not show the bikers.   

The video continued, with the officer having me pulled over to the side of the road and giving me a ticket.  Then, like angels sent from heaven, the two bikers appeared on the video, walking their bikes around our stopped vehicles.  "Oh my word..." the officer stated.

With that, the Lieutenant explained that sometimes they make mistakes, and clearly, a mistake had been made in my case.  He apologized profusely and stated that the citation would be dropped immediately.  He also stated that they both reviewed the new law, and he appreciated bringing it to their attention. 

With that, it was over.

Again, I stated I felt like it could have been prevented had I just been given a chance to explain, and the Lieutenant stated that he did indeed cover that with the trooper as well.  

We closed by me receiving another apology and an assurance that the citation was absolutely dropped.

While none of this was much fun, in the end, justice did prevail, which is all any of us can ask for.  I also compliment the Lieutenant on his professionalism and service.  I can't imagine what crosses his desk on a daily basis, but through our entire engagement, I felt listened to, respected, and served.  

Ultimately, that's all any of us are looking for from our police.

In the meantime, if you're driving in DL during We Fest, consider yourself warned...     

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

YDP Fought the Law - Part 2

I sat in my office is a stew of anger over my ticket.  It just seemed so egregious.  There was absolutely no reason for the way that I was treated, and I steeled myself for the upcoming court battle that I was going to have.

I looked up tactics for winning in court online.  Most of the articles were penned by lawyers, and of course, their suggested course of action was to hire them.  However, there were some nuggets: document the event while it was fresh in your mind (even insignificant things like the weather and what you were wearing), dress up, and be prepared to cut a deal.  I was down for all the advice, except the cutting the deal part.  I was either going to be receiving a dropped charge, or they were going to throw the book at me.

I also studied the Minnesota law to see if there was something that would provide leniency for passing a bike, even in a no passing zone.  Lo and behold, I hit the jackpot!  It seems that the state had passed a law just a year before that dealt exactly with my situation.  Specifically, it read:

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 169.18, subdivision 5, is amended to read: a motor vehicle may be driven to the left side of the roadway (in a no passing zone) to safely overtake a bicycle under the following circumstances:

(1) the bicycle is proceeding in the same direction as the motor vehicle;

(2) the driver of the motor vehicle either (i) provides a safe clearance distance, in no case less than the greater of three feet or one-half the width of the motor vehicle, or (ii) completely enters the left lane of the highway;

(3) the operator of the bicycle is not (i) making a left turn, or (ii) signaling that the bicycle operator intends to make a left turn; and

(4) the driver of the motor vehicle complies with all other applicable requirements under this section.

Not only did I do the right thing from a safety standpoint, but I also did the right thing from a legal standpoint!  Bring on the judge!

I was also holding out hope for my case to be thrown out because the officer didn't show up for the court date.  In my research, that happened more often than one expected.  I felt like my odds of this might even be better as the State Patrol officer was borrowed from another area to bolster the ranks of the We Fest crew.  If he was from the Cities or points south, it'd be unlikely that his supervising officer would allow a whole day to be wasted to battle a yellow line crossing in Detroit Lakes.  My hope would be my buddy just wouldn't show, and the case would be tossed forthwith.  

In the meantime, a buddy from work stopped by my office and was shaking his head.  He moonlights as a City Counselman, had heard what happened, and couldn't believe my story.  It made him so angry that he called in a favor with the local police, stating "here's a productive member of OUR community and this is how we're treating him with our extra police activity?  We need to do something!"

The local officer must have agreed as he forwarded a contact for the head of the State Patrol's contingency in Detroit Lakes, and suggested I call and tell my story.  I felt it was a moot point as I always heard that once a ticket was issued there was no way to make it go away other than to pay for it or go to court, but at a minimum, I'd at least be able to tell my story - hopefully, away - as that was more than the first officer allowed me to do.  

Armed with my contact, the phone number, my notes of the event, and the new Minnesota statute, I picked up the phone and made a call...    

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

YDP Fought the Law - Part One

Last week was We Fest; a huge country music event that descends on our little hamlet of Detroit Lakes every year.  It brings about 100,000 people to town, and with them come an army of police to help keep the peace that could be disrupted by such an influx of fun-seeking country fans.

Police are borrowed to augment the local ranks, and their show of force in their numbers is a formidable one.  Likewise, they're extremely aggressive and quick to ticket the smallest of transgressions.  The message they send through their actions is a simple one: do not jack around or you'll get busted.

It was in this environment in which I was driving last week.  It was 1:15 PM and I was returning from We Fest where I had gone to pick up my credentials, as my employer requires that all of their leaders take a stint at working our booth out at the event.  I was returning in a line of cars and driving on the road that ran on the west side of Big Detroit.  This is the most popular stretch of road in the town - it holds a number of popular bars and butts up to the famous mile-long beach.

Because of its notoriety, it is a favored stretch of road in which to ride a bike, walk, or run.  Indeed, I had just ridden the stretch that morning as part of an early bike ride around the lake.  I had run it and biked it dozens and dozens of times.  Unfortunately, while being a scenic stretch, it is also a dangerous stretch, as the shoulder of the road is scant.  Despite a slow posted speed of 30 MPH, shoulder traffic and vehicle traffic come into close contact on a regular basis.  That being said, there are some conscientious drivers that generously move over and afford room, which I've personally appreciated a ton.  Hence, when I drive that stretch and encounter a biker or runner, I always move over and give them a large buffer, as that's how I like to be treated.

Thus, upon my return, I happened to come upon two female bikers on my shoulder, and I immediately went into caution mode.  The situation was greatly exacerbated by the bikers riding abreast - a stupid thing to do in that section of road.  Indeed, the biker on the left was mostly on the fog line.

As I approached them, I noted no traffic in the left lane, and despite being in a no passing zone, I moved my vehicle 2/3 of the way into the left lane and passed the bikers.  Once safely past them, I moved back into my lane.  As I was doing so, I encountered a Minnesota State Patrol officer approaching in the opposite lane, and he immediately hit his lights.  As I passed by him, he conducted a U-turn and proceeded to pull me over.

"That's OK," I said to myself.  "I know what I did was the safe thing.  I'm sure he would tell me to stick closer to my lane and send me on my way."  

I have a buddy that's a cop, and I am very deliberate in my interactions with police.  My hands are always kept on the steering wheel where the cop can see them at all times.  I always refer to them as "officer" or "sir."  I never complain or ask to explain myself unless I'm asked first.  

I figured the cop would ask me what I was doing, I'd explain about the bicyclists, and I'd be on my way.  Instead, he approached me.  "I pulled you over for crossing the double yellow line.  Do you have proof of insurance?"  I did and handed it over to him.  "Is the address on your license correct?"  I answered in the affirmative.  "Wait here."  And with that, he departed and returned to his cruiser.

In the meantime, the cyclists had caught up to us and had to dismount their bikes and walk around us as there was so little room.

"OK," I thought to myself, "he'll pull my driving record, see that I haven't had a ticket in nearly twenty years, and will send me on my way.  No worries!"  

As he was in his car doing God knew what, I watched as car after car crossed the double yellow line to our left, giving the officer and me ample room.  Because that's the safe thing to do in that situation.  I felt that gave me even more opportunity to walk out of this with a warning.  

Instead, I noticed the trooper walking back to my car with a piece of paper in his hand.    Minnesota Highway Patrol are notorious for being hard asses, and if they're going to pull you over, odds are they're going to ticket you as well.  Given the paper in his hand, it looked like things looked like they might fall on the hardass side of things.

"Mr. YDP, I'm citing you for illegal passing.  You have 30 days to resolve this matter.  This is an active road.  Please drive more carefully."  And with that, he turned and left.

That was it.  No "do you know why I pulled you over?" or "could you explain what you were doing?"  No chance whatsoever for me to plead my case or explain my actions.  Just a bleeping ticket.

I was shaking I was so furious.  Maybe I had crossed those lines, but I did so because it was the safe thing to do.  This guy was making an example of me because that's what the cops did when We Fest came to town.  This guy clearly wanted to arm me with a story to tell my friends about how you just don't jack around this weekend.

What a dick.

I returned to work, dropped my credentials off with HR as instructed, and also slapped my new citation on the counter.  I regaled the story to the entire HR staff that stood there dumbfounded.  Nobody could believe that the encounter went down the way I explained it.  

With that, I headed up to my office to look up my ticket and determine my fine.  It was $125, plus whatever would happen to my insurance.

I seethed.  I was going to fight this one.  I did indeed cross those yellow lines, but I wasn't drunk, wasn't a scofflaw, had my insurance and tabs in order, and did so to protect those two riders.  Cops literally live and die by the way they're treated by those that pass them while they're standing on the side of the road.  How could this jerk not appreciate that?  I planned on telling him so in court.

But damn, what a hassle.  It was just all so unfair.

All the more reason to raise a stink in court.  I was gonna fight the law...

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Interpol - Roland

From 2002.  These guys look just like little kids.  Hard to believe it was that long ago...

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hero Gets to Hear Bagpipes Before He Dies

I wish there was a story like this I could share every day:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Walker, MN American Legion Not Messing Around

Last week, while on vacation in Walker I happened to pass by the local American Legion.  It's not uncommon for Legions to have some equipment outside of their establishment - cannons are common, and even tanks are employed at times.

Not in Walker.  Nope, they've upped the game, settling not for a battlefield difference-maker, but for a war difference maker:

Yep, that's the Enola Gay.  The Ender.  

The veterans in Walker know how to go big.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Vacation Recap

Last week we held our annual family vacation at Leech Lake.  While we were missing one from our number, and missed her terribly, we did manage to eek out a really good time.  Here are the highlights:

Fishing was as good as we've had in the summer; perhaps ever.  The walleye bite turned on later in the week, and the northern were simply jumping in the boat.  Here's a shot of my niece's nice 27" pig:

Speaking of my niece, she's a fishing fool.  She was pushing me to go, which was remarkable.  Heck, she went even when it was cold:

Not only were the fish biting, but the crayfish were all over us as well.  Here's just one of the guys we caught:

For me, this represented the first summer vacation I've had where I didn't have to work or leave early (or in the middle) to work since we've been doing this as a family.  Have I said recently how much I love my job?  

While my brother and nephew took off and missed the picture, here's the family photo from this year.  Can't wait to do it all again next year!

Monday, July 30, 2018

StarTribune Publishes SD Lion Hunter's Name as "News"

Yesterday, in an outrageous act of doxxing and under the auspices of some kind of journalism the StarTribune published not only the name but home town of a South Dakota hunter who was granted a license to take a lion in Africa.  Not stopping there, the rag also linked to a list of all 33 license holders.

This isn't journalism, this is blatant hope that someone harasses this individual.  Or worse.  In situations like this, people have suffered a loss of a job, physical violence, and even threats to their lives.  All for engaging in a legal activity.

If harm should come to the South Dakota hunter, "journalist" Paul Walsh and the Star Tribune should absolutely inherit some of the blame.

As a hunter, this is a sick precedent, as it's only a matter of time when the doxxing crowd moves on to any form of hunting.  

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday Song Share: China Crisis - Wishful Thinking

The Lads from Liverpool (no, not THOSE lads...) with their first hit.  Dated as hell, but equally as pleasant.  

From simpler times...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jim Thome Twins Bobblehead Commercial

Here's the latest in a long line of reasons to love Jim Thome:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

University of Minnesota - Conform, Or Else

Yesterday's StarTribune reported the latest happenings at the University of Minnesota.  It seems the University is contemplating a new gender identity policy which would allow students and faculty to be called the pronoun of their choice.  Those that fail to do so could suffer being expelled or fired.

Beyond that, just last month, the U officially gave students a list of pronouns and gender options on its online registration website, MyU. If they choose, they can identify themselves as male, female, agender, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, nonbinary or two-spirit, or skip the gender question entirely. Pronoun options include he, she, ze, the singular “they,” none and “prefer not to specify.”

If you're a fabulous professor, why would you ever take a job at a place like this where a pronoun slip could cost you your job?  And if you're a great student, why would you go to a school that can't attract any decent professors due to their rush to be more inclusive than thou?

What the hell is going on?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Cheap Trick - Surrender

This is old as hell, but it was the band at their absolute zenith, and playing their greatest song.

Love when Rick Neilsen goes through the band check at the 4:00 mark.

We're all all right, indeed:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Everything is Not OK - Wonderful Blog Post

I don't like re-posting somebody else's blog posts here, but this one was so well written and poignant, I'd be doing it a total disservice if I only posted an excerpt and a link.  

This link to the original post is here, and I encourage your navigation over there and your support.  In the meantime, here is the blog post in its entirety:

I went for a haircut today. Money is no object when it comes to my appearance – only the absolute finest will do. So I went to Sport Clips in the strip mall next to Target, with a $3 coupon in hand. Like many other fashion-conscious men, I frequent this establishment and don’t think I’ve ever had my hair cut by the same person twice. Like many other seemingly mundane things, this interests me. Well, most of the things that interest me actually are mundane, I suppose. But I’m fascinated by these young ladies. Who are they? Where do they come from? Where do they go? So I’ve applied for a federal grant to study attractive, rural, 30-year-old women who cut hair at gimmicky chain barber shops.

Well, actually, no – I just talk to them. And I learn a lot.

Kaitlyn (not her real name) just moved here from Georgia. Her husband is an auto mechanic. “He can fix anything with four wheels! Well, except my car – it runs like crap!” She went on at some length about how good he was at fixing things. His plan was to start his own shop once they moved here. They moved into a double-wide trailer that had a nice pole barn out back, which he planned to outfit with electric and a high-end air compressor, maybe even a grease pit, and start his own business.

He spent almost a year working on permits, licenses, inspections, and so on. He spoke to people from the county, city, state, feds, and the EPA. He talked to attorneys, accountants, and consultants to help wade through all the red tape. After about a year, he realized that the start-up costs were more than he was willing to gamble on the eventual success of a business that did not yet exist, so he got a job with the city, maintaining their trucks and mowing equipment. It doesn’t pay very well, but it has good benefits. It’s not a bad job, she says. Nothing to complain about. Everything is ok.

Kaitlyn did a great job on my hair, was very pleasant and personable, and is clearly very intelligent. She said that a few miles from their house, a barber recently retired. She considered buying his shop. She’s always dreamed of owning her own business. She said that’s the whole reason she went to cosmetology school. I said that sounded great – the shop is already set up, it has a large group of established customers, and she could expand from there.

She said that she spent several months looking into it, but she would need permits, licenses, inspections, and so on. I pointed out that it has been a barber’s shop for years, so the inspections, permits, and so on would already be done. She said that it would be a new business, and she would have to pay for all that to be done over again. She spoke with attorneys, accountants, and consultants to help wade through all the red tape – some of the same individuals that her husband had just consulted. She soon realized that the start-up costs were more than she was willing to gamble, so she got a job with a chain. The pay is not very good, and the benefits are lousy. One reason her husband took a government job was for the health insurance for their family. But she doesn’t mind working for Sport Clips – it’s a decent job, she says. Nothing to complain about. Everything is ok.

So how does this story end?

Well, in my view, it’s already ended. This young couple from a modest background has all the potential in the world. They’re both ambitious, intelligent, and very good at a valuable skill. They’re devoted to their family, their dreams, and each other. They dream of better things and are willing to gamble, willing to work hard today for a better tomorrow, and willing to take on the additional responsibilities that come with owning a business. They’re savvy enough with modern government to hire attorneys and consultants to help with the red tape.

And even they can’t open a new business, to do something they already know how to do.

And 30 years from now, nothing will have happened.

My Uncle Fred (Frederic Bastiat) described this as the seen versus the unseen. Progressives win elections because the benefits they provide are immediate and obvious. They give people free money with taxpayer dollars, or build highways with taxpayer dollars, or start new general assistance programs with taxpayer dollars. They’re working for you, and anyone with eyes can see it. The benefits provided by progressives are seen.

But the damage they cause is mostly unseen. In 30 years, Kaitlyn and her husband could have retired to a very nice community on the Gulf Coast and played golf for the rest of their lives. But they won’t. She’ll still be cutting hair for $12 an hour plus tips, and he’ll still be fixing lawn mowers for the city. Just like they are now.

They didn’t lose a fortune, because they never had the opportunity to earn one. Nothing happened. There they sit. And there they’ll stay.

Progressives may think they’re utopians who dream of a better tomorrow. But, in reality, they are the robotic defenders of the status quo. Everything stays the same because nothing happens. And when things don’t happen, those things don’t make the evening news. They didn’t happen at all, so there’s nothing to complain about. Everything is basically ok. And that’s the way it will stay.

Until it doesn’t.

Change is scary. You never know what might happen. It might be good. It might be bad. You roll the dice like this young couple tried to do. Twice.

Or you don’t. Like progressives do, every day.

I wonder if Kaitlyn views progressives as nice people who are trying to help her. Or if she views them as well-meaning fools, as I do when I’m trying to be charitable.

But in bed late at night, I wonder if she ever hates them for destroying her life and the lives of her children.

Probably not. Because nothing really happened. And nothing ever will.

There’s nothing to complain about.

Everything is ok.

I left her a $10 tip for a $15 haircut, and I walked out. I looked good – it really was a sharp haircut. But I felt like I wanted to puke.

Everything is not ok.