Saturday, December 29, 2018

Saturday Song Share: The Kinks - Apeman

Not sure we've ever done the Kinks before here on SSS, and if not, that's certainly a miss on my part.

Here's one of their better efforts, from 1970 (!).

I'm a King Kong man
I'm a voodoo man
oh, I'm an apeman


Friday, December 28, 2018

St. John's Second Highest Rated School in Minnesota

A recent study by the US Department of Education looked at what the average earnings were for graduates of a college ten years after entering the school.  

Sorted by income, here are the top Minnesota schools:


Some interesting considerations:

  • Capella is rated the highest, likely due to the average age of their students
  • Tommies suck!
  • We always heard we better be nice when we played Carlton in football, as we'd likely be working for them one day.  At least we're getting paid...
  • Good on CSB to make the top six
Go Johnnies!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Pope Francis Finally Weighs In

After lame comments, or worse, crickets, Pope Francis finally used one of his Christmas speeches to the Roman Curia to weigh in on the sexual abuse problem in the church.  Statements were refreshingly unambiguous:

  • "Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes."
  • "Even if it were to involve a single case of abuse (something itself monstrous), the Church asks that people not be silent but bring it objectively to light, since the greater scandal in this matter is that of cloaking the truth."
  • "To those who abuse minors I would say this: convert and hand yourself over to human justice, and prepare for divine justice."
  • "David the sinner and Judas Iscariot will always be present in the Church, since they represent the weakness that is part of our human condition. They are icons of the sins and crimes committed by those who are chosen and consecrated. United in the gravity of their sin, they nonetheless differ when it comes to conversion. David repented, trusting in God’s mercy; Judas hanged himself." 

I am no fan of Francis.  I find him to be far too focused on things of insignificance, and I've waited far too long to hear language like this from him.  I will reserve my judgement, as words are one thing, and deeds something altogether different.

The church needed your words, Francis.  Now they need your actions.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Liberty Safes of Chattanooga

Facebook doesn't like guns, so Randy works around them.

Brilliant.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Christmas Reading from Matthew 1

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

A Pretty Good Christmas Ad

While I know this borrows (A LOT!) from the opening scene from Guardians of the Galaxy, it's still a pretty good Christmas ad.

Plus, anytime you can play some Redbone, count me in:





Oh, what the heck, here's StarLord's version as well:

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Missing the Message

In the hustle of the season, it is really easy to get mired in the myriad distractions that abound this time of year.  Work, family, and social engagements pull at us, projects and preparations need our time, and our period of rest and relaxation turns out to be neither.

Lost in all of that is why the season is here.  Do we really understand the impact the Christ child brought forth?  What it meant?  It's not a cute folk story, it's not a trade-off for a pagan winter solstice ritual, and it's not opiate for the masses or the unintellectual. 

Christ came into this world.  He was crucified and died, and then didn't die.  His resurrection changed everything - changes everything.  

But it has a start.  Emanuel.  The birth.  Where it all begins.

I know it's trite to pen yet another "true message of the season" missive, but given its magnitude, how could I not? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Google Approves App For Muslims To Report People Who Commit Blasphemy

Google used to have a motto of "don't be evil."  That's gone by the wayside of late, and the most recent example of this is their greenlighting of an app used in Indonesia to report people to the government that are committing blasphemy.

Here's a link to the app.

It doesn't get much more evil than this.  This app, when employed, will definitely lead to human hardships, if not deaths.

A Christian app of similar function would be laughed out of Google's process.  Since it is instead Islam, "a religion of peace," safety, good sense, and honor go right the hell out of the window.  

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sunday with Sam

Most Sundays over football season are spent texting with my niece Sam while we both watch the Vikings from our respective locales.

Not this past Sunday.

In early celebration of her 16th birthday, she flew into Minneapolis and we attended the Vikings game together.  It was beyond joyous, and I don't know about her, but I had the time of my life.

Not sure what our heroes in purple will do in the playoffs, but for me, this season can't get any better.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Puck Goes Off Ref's Nuts, Into Goal

Really:



I can pretty much guarantee that ref had a damn hard time fitting into normal pants for a while.

That poor guy...

Friday, December 14, 2018

New Walleye Harvest Rules for Leech Lake

Currently, Leech Lake, the jewel of Minnesota's walleye lakes, has a slot configuration of less than 20" fish may be kept, with one over 26", and a limit of four total.

As one that has angled for the denizens of that beautiful body of water, I know all too well the pain of turning a beautiful 22" walleye back into the water instead of into my frying pan.

Not any more!

The Minnesota DNR just announced that configurations were changing for Leech.  The 4 fish limit still applied, but now one of those four can be over 20".  That makes a massive difference, especially with multiple anglers in the boat.  It will mean the difference between empty livewells and well-appointed fish fries.  

For over a decade now, the fishing on Leech Lake has gotten better and better.  It's nice to see the walleye population now back to a level where an adjustment like this can be employed.

Get the net! 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

My DNA Update

I got contacted from the folks at Ancestry about my DNA results.  As more data has entered into their system, they have been better able to reflect my ancestors with more geographic specificity, and they provided me with an update.  I now break down along the following lines:



From my last read, I lost any connection to Spain (16%!), as well as some areas that came in at less than 1%.  I also gained some specificity to the area of Leinster in Ireland.  <1 concentrated="" font="" i="" in="" ireland="" leinster.="" m="" more="" nbsp="" reads.="" specificity="" to="" with="">

Alas, I still have no Native American blood, although I am still about as close as Elizabeth Warren.  

All fun aside, I do regret doing this test in the first place.  DNA testing is evolving at a rapid rate, and its potential use for nefarious reasons grows at a daily level.  Could one be rejected for health care because their DNA reflected a disposition for some kind of future malady?  Given our current environment, such a situation does not seem that far off, and I hate that someone out there has my DNA and all that it can tell about me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

After Pigfest, Vikes Fire OC

In a really important game Monday night in Seattle, the Minnesota Viking offense failed to show up.  Since it's hard to win when you don't score points, another fine defensive effort was wasted and the team sustained another critical loss.  

Thielen was ignored, as was Rudolph.  The running game was anemic.  More than all of that, Kirk Cousins looked absolutely brutal.  He missed obvious reads, missed open receivers, and missed another opportunity to finally be a true leader to this team.  

He didn't miss cashing his paycheck, though...

Since Cousins has an $80MM guaranteed contract and we can't fire him, we did the next best thing and fired the offensive coordinator.  If this move doesn't bring about the necessary change, the next move will be to fire Zimmer.  After that, we're pretty much out of options.

Despite all of this football futility, our favorite team is still in the thick of a playoff hunt.  Indeed, the Vikes really control their own destiny.  With upcoming games against Miami and Detroit, there is no reason they can't win both.  That brings us to week 17 against the Bears, and depending on how things shake out, the game may be moot for the Monsters of the Midway.  

Hence, the Vikings have no excuse on missing the playoffs.  They just need to execute.

Or get executed.  Like their offensive coordinator did.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

US Life Expectancy Declines

It is 2017, and in the United States, hunger doesn't exist, and disease is insignificant and survivable.  Never in the history of humankind have people had access to better nutrition, healthcare, information, education, technology, etc. 

Despite this, we're not living as long as we used to.  Our life expectancy in 2017 is shorter than it was in 2016.

What's happening?  Mostly, we're overdosing, and we're committing suicide:

Some answers are obvious.  Easy access and high addiction rates to opioids have driven these numbers, as has the booming heroin trade.  However, this doesn't explain the whole thing, and I'd offer some likely culprits:

  • Our turning away from religion
  • The continuing war men, which leaving men feeling irrelevant and rudderless
  • Social media, in which our lives are under constant comparison, and in which hate is perpetually on display
  • The continuing push to make drugs "no big deal" 
  • Loneliness.  It's an absolute crisis, and drive by every point listed above
What do we do?  I don't see any of the trends I highlighted above abating anytime soon.  In fact, I'd expect that they will all continue to grow.

Which means our future life expectancy will continue to fall.

Amazing.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Shale Changes Everything

America is the world's largest oil producer.

For those of us that grew up in the days of OPEC, those words are hard to wrap our heads around.  However, it's true, and the impact of having so much supply under the control of the freest country in the history of humankind are substantive.

The best write up of the situation is from an article by Walter Russell Mead, and I share it here for your review.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Palessi Shoes

This is old news, but relevant to me as we're in deep conversations about enlisting the help of brand ambassadors.  

As you can see, if you pay someone enough and set the right stage, they'll say anything.

And that's exactly why we won't do it:


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Duck Recap from 2018 Season

I keep pretty thorough records of our hunts at the duck camp and have been doing so since 2004.  2018 was no exception.

Overall it was a really good season - not our best, but certainly one of them.  Indeed, it was our best harvest since 2013 - a year in which we had a warm opener and shot 33 Blue Wing Teal.  In comparison, we only shot 1 at camp this year.

Here are some other highlights for the 2018 season:

  • We tied or bagged the most mallards, canvasbacks, and widgeon that we ever have since I've been tracking.
  • Personally, I set or tied records for a personal bag of canvasback, widgeon, and pintail.
  • Our widgeon record of 6, which we tied, stood since the 2004 season.
  • Despite how many wood ducks we raise on the property, we harvested nary a one this year.
Just a little over 9 months before early goose season and we do it all again.




Monday, December 3, 2018

Connecting with the Boys

This past Saturday, I got together with a bunch of friends from my college days.  We got together at our college hangout, where the owner is not only still alive and kicking, but still putting in time behind the bar.

The fact that he still remembers all of our names is a touch concerning.

Also of concern is this bit of math - given our ages, our being at Sal's at our age was the equivalent of hanging in the same bar with dudes that graduated in 1956 during our senior year.

Sometimes math really sucks. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday Song Share: The Pixies - Bagboy

Not sure we've ever featured the Pixies here at YDP's SSS, and if I've not, shame on me:


Friday, November 30, 2018

Liberals are the True Racists

Liberals sure like to think themselves as non-racist.  What hogwash.  They're far more racist than conservatives, and here are just a couple of recent examples.

Take, first, the uproar of Charlie Brown being racist.  Why?  Because this:



You see, Franklin is sitting by himself, and he's seated in an uncomfortable folding chair.  Therefore, racism!

Before this outcry, when I saw a picture of the Peanuts gang, I didn't see a black kid.  I saw the Peanuts gang.  I don't see a white receiver and a black receiver.  I see Theilen and Diggs.  However, liberals don't.  All they see is skin color, because that's what matters.

Here's exactly what I'm talking about:



Until we stop looking at skin color, we're going nowhere with regard to race, and given how liberals are performing, we'll be going nowhere for a good, long time.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Longest Hockey Pass

Because when it is flipping cold up here in Detroit Lakes, what else are you going to do?


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Curling's Back


The new season starts tonight.  I got upgraded to a new team, and the competition will be stronger.  I'll be throwing second, which isn't that dissimilar to the #2 hitter in a baseball lineup.  
Here's an explanation for the whole line-up:
Lead: The lead throws the first two rocks of the end and then sweeps the next six. The lead must be very good at throwing guards and a strong sweeper.
Second: The second throws the third and fourth stones of the end and should be strong at playing takeouts. The second sweeps the first two stones and then the final four of the end. The second and the lead need to be in sync when sweeping together.
Third: The third (or mate or vice), who throws the fifth and sixth rocks of the end, must be good at all shots, but especially draws. It is the third’s job to set up the shots that will be thrown by the skip, and to help the skip discuss the strategy of the final two stones of the end. The third also posts the score at the conclusion of the end.
Skip: The skip is the captain of the team and decides the strategy. It’s the skip’s job to tell the other players where to throw their shots and when to sweep. The skip also delivers the last two shots of the end. The skip must be good at all types of shots.
This will be keeping me busy for every Wednesday all the way to March.  I hope my game, and my liver, are up for it.
What else are you going to do in Detroit Lakes when it's flipping cold?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Magic Minnesota Sports Weekend

For a Minnesota sports fan, it doesn't get better than what we just experienced over the past long weekend.  Consider:


  • On Wednesday night, Gopher hoops took down a very good Washington team on their last shot, and the Wild got past Ottawa
  • On Friday, the Wild came back from being down 2-0 in the third period to beat nemesis Winnipeg 4-2
  • On Saturday, Gopher football beat Bucky at Camp Randall, SJU won its playoff game, and the Irish (not Minnesotan, but everyone loves the Irish) came back from a 14 point deficit to take care of USC
  • Sunday night the Vikes took care of the Packers on Sunday Night Football
What are the odds of this?  Let's do some math!

  • Gophers over Washington 40%
  • Wild over Ottawa 66%
  • Wild over Winnipeg 50%
  • Gophers over Bucky 20%
  • SJU wins 90%
  • Irish over USC 85%
  • Vikes over Pack 66%
  • Total chance of this happening - 1.33%!
Lots to give thanks for, indeed!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Boyhood is Not a Mental Disorder

This is perhaps the finest analysis on the war on boys that I've read in a long time.  Read it all:

Boyhood is not a mental disorder

We have a massive amount of boys that our society has not allowed to be boys.  They will one day be men.  I wonder how that is going to work out for us?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Leftovers

As Thanksgiving comes to a close and the last of leftovers find their demise, there's still a glow of thankfulness they impart.  The blessings of having more than enough to eat are an obvious one, but they also allude to the friends and family that have gathered around us to partake in the incredible bounty.  

The feast leads to conversations - an engagement that happens all too infrequently in our hyper-connected and hyper-scheduled days.  The feast also leads to physiological impacts as well; mainly in the form of naps!  However, they're not just naps induced by a full belly.  They're naps also fueled by the contentment of a heart that is equally as full.

As the last of your feast gets consumed and space finally opens back up in your refrigerator, my fervent hope is that the meals those leftovers afforded provided you all with something far greater than just something good to eat.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Metallica - Nothing Else Matters

This one's for you, Kent.  Wish I would have been able to see you play this.


Friday, November 23, 2018

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Thanksgiving Message from Fr. Don

Father Don actually published this last week, but given it's Thanksgiving, I felt it appropriate to share with you today:

"Each of us has her or his own list of items for which to be thankful. We can start at the outer edges of this vast universe or begin in the depths of our own being. Either way, our life, our existence is a fabric of gifts, items whose origin was not our doing. Especially those of us in relatively good health, living a comfortable existence in a much-blessed country, have no excuse for whining and complaining. As the chronically ill and the poor so often teach us to our embarrassment, there are so many things, so many people, so many events for which we should be thankful. We'd do well to list for ourselves all the gifts that make our life so livable -- and more."

We can and do audit our pains, slights, and times where we had to suffer indignity or unfairness.  However, if we chose to audit our blessings in addition, the ledger it'd create would be embarrassing.  

We have been deeply blessed - all of us.  Let's take some time today to truly be cognizant of it, and thankful for it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

St. Mary's Mission Church

As we slide into Thanksgiving, if you need something to be thankful for, be thankful that you and your family don't live on the Red Lake reservation.

However, all is not lost there:



"Anybody that underestimates the power of Catholic education to change lives is a damned fool."

And that is one glaring reason, of many, why the Catholic Church matters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

RIP Kent

My buddy and partner, Kent, at the duck camp died.

I went to camp on a Saturday morning to do some chores and hunt some pheasants, and when I arrived one of my partners told me Kent had died the preceding morning.  

The news was like a punch to the gut.  Kent had not been around much this hunting season, and I sensed something was wrong with him.  That week, I had made a note a couple of times to myself that when I freed up I needed to call him and ensure he'd be at camp this weekend.  I also wanted to let him know I was there for him.

I didn't call.  I wasn't there for him.

We don't know how he died, nor does it matter to me.  All that matters is that we've lost our 4th partner of the camp.  Somebody I've hunted with for over 40 years.  Somebody with a grin that lit up a room.  Somebody that could fix damn near anything.  

What happens now with the camp is anyone's guess.  We're still not resolved from Bach's death over a year ago, and now this.  It's going to be a huge mess.

But, ultimately, that doesn't register, because buddy and partner, Kent, at the duck camp died.

I can't convey enough how much I will miss him.

Monday, November 19, 2018

I'm Back

Hi YDP Nation.  It has been over a month, but I'm back.

So what happened?  Folks, I was tapped out.  Between the church scandals, the Kavanaugh hearings, the violence - I simply felt like I didn't have a foundation.  My church and my country were ugly things.  

No, they've not gotten much better.  But I have.  I'm at a place where it's time to start putting down some markers on what I believe is important, and I need to start being the one responsible for taking things in a new direction.  As it has in the past, this little blog will continue to serve as my small little shout at the rest of the world.

Sorry for the absence.  A lot has happened, and I'll be telling you all about it.  But in the meantime, let's just try and be decent to each other.  

Deal?

See you tomorrow. 

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."  

"Men."

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

Incomprehensible.  

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:

WOO WOO!

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. 

Enough. 

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
Amen

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."

What?

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:

YDP,

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,


Cheers


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.

YDP

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.


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