Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Food City Commercial

This is pretty awesome:

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.

Monday, July 9, 2018

College Students Weigh In on Trump's Pick for SCOTUS

There are a lot of these videos which show people spouting off on things that they know nothing about.  There has to be something in the human psyche that makes one compelled to flat make up stuff once a camera gets pointed in your face.

Ordinarily, I'd ignore this, as this type of stuff is everywhere. However, this one is different.  At the 0:50 mark, a fictitious SCOTUS appointment is labelled as racist.

Incredible.  We're quickly devolving into an area where "racist" means absolutely nothing.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

Saturday Song Share: John Mellencamp - Grandview

I know we did some Mellencamp a couple of weeks ago, but damn, this song flat rocks:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Purdue Pharma Lays Off Entire Sales Force

Back on June 20, Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, laid off its entire sales force.  There are a couple of things at play here:

  1. Given the bad publicity, OxyContin demand is nothing like it has been in the past
  2. More importantly, these are the people complicit in the deaths of thousands of Americans
The addictive properties of OxyContin are off the charts, as are the deaths the drug is directly responsible for.  Both data points have been known for years.  Despite that, the sales foot remained on the floor; death of innocents be damned.

This kind of wanton negligence is the stuff of Upton Sinclair (and that's as close as this blog is ever going to get to an avowed Socialist).  

The sales team will land elsewhere.  How they can sleep at night is really the only question that remains.  Oh, sure, there are higher ups in Purdue that did worse, but it really doesn't matter how much blood is on one's hands.  

Blood is blood. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

In Memory of Marion

As stated previously, my mother-in-law passed away a couple of days ago.  To say we're heartbroken is an understatement, and she'll be missed to no end.  Her's was the most gentle and loving of souls, and as such, she endeared herself to all who met her.  She really was universally loved by all.

How she got there is a mystery.  She was a child of the depression, and like others of her peer group from that time, she grew up without  This is especially true in today's standards, where we have no concept whatsoever of what true hardship is like.  The poorest among us now have cell phones, air conditioning, and food stamps.  Those would have been absolute miracles in the 1930's where starvation and death were not atypical.

When the war came, the newly married Marion found herself with her soldier husband being sent to Europe, and with her going to live with her new in-laws.  Time with them was horrible - these days we'd call it abusive - and it was exacerbated by having a new baby.

Finally, the war ended, and life began to progress.  However, there was still extreme hardship, which came in forms like the loss of her infant son, or the loss or her hearing.

With this hard background, you'd expect a bitter, angry woman.  What you got was the exact opposite.  She was a woman of deep faith, unquenchable kindness and love, and the epitome of a Christian life.  I'd defy you to find someone that matched the definition of "Christian" better.

So many will remember her for so much, but there are a couple of things that stood out in my interactions with her:

  • She loved to cook - it was truly a labor of love for her, and it was clearly a way that she showed those around her that she loved them.  Her specialities were vast and everyone has a favorite, which is funny as there isn't that much crossover.  That's how much game she had in cooking.  And everything she did was incredible.  Even a simple fried egg was the best I've had in my life, and, unfortunately, impossible to replicate.  In fact, in speaking with all of her offspring, nobody can get things just right to match how Marion's food tasted.  I'd like to think that's because everything she ever cooked was served with an extra quarter cup of love, and given where it was coming from, it is impossible to match.
  • I never heard a cross word come out of her lips.  In hearing stories from my wife, I know there were some, but in my 25+ years with her, I never heard one.  Not a single one.  The closest time was when my wife and I were to be married.  Marion approached us and handed us a check to help with the wedding.  Marion did not have any extra money, and I couldn't accept it.  I let her know that while we appreciated it, it wasn't necessary, and I proceeded to hand the check back to her.  She looked at me, narrowed her eyes, and said "I expect that you will accept this gift in the spirit in which it is given," in a tone that was flat ice cold.  I had never heard or seen anything like it, and coming from this small, genteel woman, it scared the living crap out of me.  I took the check, thanked her profusely, and hoped I'd never see that side or Marion again.
  • There is only one thing that I ever saw that Marion hated, and that's when those that she loved got ready to leave.  That's probably part of the reason why leaving her house was usually a 45-minute process.  From the time the departure announcement was made, Marion immediately went into "food packing" mode as nobody left her house without something to eat.  Talking and stories would continue, and once you got your coat on, you knew that you'd still have 20 minutes more before you got out the door.  She was always sad, and made us promise to come to see her again soon; sometimes even pinning us down to specific dates.  She was at her absolute happiest with family around, and when those times ended things were hard for her.  Despite being sad, she was always generous with a big hug and an "I love you."  Always.
There's so much to her.  Incredible gardner (and, subsequently, pickle and sauerkraut maker), once-a-year drinker (one fuzzy navel), ice cream lover, seamstress extraordinaire, graceful dancer, coffeeaholic, awesome sense of humor, and about the best hugger you'd ever care to meet.  There's more to her than I can add here, and no matter where I'd stop I'd be doing her memory a disservice, so now is as good of a place as any. 

I close now in pointing out the irony of the act of leaving.  It was the thing she hated the most when we did it to her.  She's getting us all back right now.  Oh, how much we don't want her to go, how we want to pin her down on when we'll see her again, and how we wish we had time for one more hug and one more "I love you."  The turnabout is complete, and how I wish maybe we'd lingered a bit longer all those times, even if we had to stop at the local gas station in town because the car had been warming up in the driveway for 45 minutes as we were saying our "good-byes."

Godspeed, Marion.  Enjoy your rest, as you have certainly earned it.  Thank you for all you have done, for the example you set, for the legacy you left, and especially for loving me - "warts and all."  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July

Ours was a remarkable origin and the intelligence and bravery of those that brought it to fruition could not have happened via happenstance.  

America, God truly shed His grace on thee...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Missing Marion

Vera’s Mom, passed away last evening in the company of family. Her’s was a heart that loved so many, so deeply, that she was universally loved by all. She was a remarkable woman of character and faith, and she’ll be sorely missed. I am a far better man for having known and been loved by her.

Our hearts break...

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018

Richard Painter - Worst Political Ad of the Season

Up here in Minnesota, we love our quirky politics.  We'll elect a wrestler as a Governor, a comic as a Senator, and on and on.  Therefore, in this environment, this passed as a good political ad:

This clown is running for the US Senate!  And that's the best they could do?  They need to take a page from the book from this guy:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"We Have a Great Chance To Inflict One On Him (a Political Price)"

"Journalist" John Heilemann lets the mask slip, and shows just exactly what we all already knew - the media = the Democratic party:

Not only that but Heilemann's rant generates a full swoon by his on-air partner.

Journalism in 2018.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How Much We Hate Each Other - #2

The world is officially going insane.  The rhetoric is getting way too heated, and the cold war between liberal and conservative is quickly turning hot; pushed by Social Justice Warriors that feel compelled to punish those with whom they disagree politically.

Consider, in the just the past week alone:

  • Kevin McHale was outed as attending a Trump rally in Duluth, Minnesota.  Immediately calls went out for him to lose any employment he had with the NBA and with ESPN.  His career needs to be ruined.
  • Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security, was run out of a restaurant by a group protesting her mere presence.  The protests have continued to her home, which has been surrounded by protesters chanting and playing audio of crying kids.
  • Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was having dinner with her family at a Virginia restaurant, but the owner, unable to tolerate a political perspective that was any different, demanded that Sanders leave her restaurant.
  • An ICE agent was accused of having a racist tattoo.  Twitter erupted, but it turns out it wasn't a racist tattoo at all.  It also turns out he's a veteran and double-amputee. 
  • The Attorney General of Florida was screamed at as she was leaving a movie theater.

This was all last week.

So when does this all end?  Not anytime soon, especially when Maxine Waters is stirring up a crowd to do more of it:

Interesting that a black woman would be screaming about people and saying "you're not welcome!"  

History may not totally repeat itself, but it does indeed rhyme.  In the meantime, look for more and more businesses to be forced to take a side.  No, we can't have dinner with each other anymore.

That's how much we hate each other.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Evaluating the Trade

Just shy of a year and a half ago, we were faced with a big decision:  Do we continue to live the lives we were leading, or do we take a chance on a better life?  I'd be giving up a lot - a top leadership position in a large company and all the good things that went with it, a lot more pay than I'm making now, a really nice house on a golf course, a great team, and other things that made our lives pretty comfortable.

Not only that, but we'd be moving to small town, making a hell of a lot less, I'd be off the grid for future gigs, and career risk was abound.  That being said, our opportunity got us back to Minnesota, and I was truly at the end of my rope at my old gig.  I was putting in huge hours, felt terrible, looked worse, and started getting depressed every Sunday starting at about 3:00.  

Every Sunday.

We jumped.  While it's not been completely easy, we had no idea how good our lives could be.  People here are WONDERFUL. They're happy, engaged, and truly care about you.  The town, while small, feels a hell of a lot bigger than Green Bay, and I'm not exaggerating.  My dog goes with me to work, where I have nothing but good people and basically no dysfunction.   I'm able to do really cool things at work and am definitely leaving my mark.  I leave that gig at a little after 5 every day, and if the weather is nice, we hop on the boat.  On Sunday nights I look forward to the morning and starting the week all over again.

I'm wildly happy.  I had no idea I could ever be this happy.  No, it's not perfect, but damn it is close.

I have been through a lot in my career.  I'd like to think that all of this is payback for those dues that I paid.  

So how was the trade now that things have baked in a little?  This is like the Hershel Walker deal, and we're the Cowboys.  It's that good.

I've been truly blessed.

Friday, June 22, 2018

How Much We Hate Each Other - #1

Trump visited Duluth a couple of days ago, and as a result, Fox and Friends came to Minnesota to cover the event.  They broadcast from a local diner, Uncle Loui's Cafe, as the cafe felt the exposure would be good for their business.


Since they dared let the hated Fox News into their establishment, Uncle Loui's Cafe needed to pay.  How dare they mingle with the Nazis of Fox News?  They needed to be shut down, and their livelihood destroyed because that's how much we hate each other now.

Read the article here.

We're quickly devolving where we can't just disagree anymore.  No, those that disagree with me must be ruined.

That's the end game.  That's how much we hate.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Trump Derangement. All Day. Every Day.

The exploding heads on TV have been a constant since election night.

Every day.  Literally.

We've gone from Russians, to pussy hats, to Stormy Daniels, to guns, to shrinking Antartic ice, to the latest on the kids on the border.  And I'm sure I've missed a dozen more.

You know what they all have to do with each other?

  • They all come from the same people
  • They are all designed to "get Trump"
  • They've all failed miserably 
Why the failure?  Because people's lives are tangibly better under Trump.  They're working.  They're making more money.  And all of those other things never come close to impacting their daily lives.  At all.  Not even close.

The full weight of Hollywood, the media, and our elite betters have been pushing against Trump since the jump.  Until Mr. and Mrs. America finally get hit in the pocketbook, it will continue to be a fool's errand to do so.

But try they will.  All day.  Every day.

* sigh * 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Hats Off Mounds View Pitcher

In a recent High School baseball game, Mounds View was facing Totino-Grace for a berth to go to the State Tournament.  With two out in the last inning, the pitcher was facing his childhood friend and got two strikes on him.  He was one pitch away from going to State.

Here's what happens next:

This has gone viral, as it should.  We need more of this kind of behavior.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Transgender Sprinter Dominates CT State Girls' Meet

This is the state championship race, where things like scholarships are on the line.  The boy racing against the field of girls dominates.  Who would have guessed?

Watch the body language of the girls he beats.  

Expect to see more of this.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Anthony Bourdain a Hero? How About an Abuser?

All over social media this past week, people have been lamenting the loss of Anthony Bourdain.  They talk about him like he was a friend and lament his suicide as their loss.

Let me make this clear: Anthony Bourdain was a man of privilege.  He literally had the world at his feet and had access to the finest of everything, including mental health resources.  Instead, he took his life and left his 11-year-old daughter to deal with a lifetime of untold trauma.

His action is disgusting.  Was he suffering from mental illness?  Yes.  Do those that, say, abuse children also suffer from mental illness?  Yes.  In both instances, due to the act, children and loved ones are left with wounds that will stay with them their entire lives.

Their entire lives.

If this guy abused his daughter, we’d not celebrate him.  But he still delivered a dump-truck load of dysfunction on her, dysfunction that will impact her as long as she lives, and we lament our loss?  

How about we shame this for what it is – a selfish, cowardly, and hurtful act?

Why in the world would you so traumatically hurt the ones you supposedly love?  

Spare me the depression that leads to the "they're better off without me" self-talk that can occur.  We do stuff for people we love because we love them.  Up to and including sucking it up and finding some way, any way, to go on.  

Likewise, when you have a kid, your job is to take care of them, and certainly not to emotionally cripple them for the rest of their lives.  When you have a kid, your rules change.  It's not about you anymore.

What Anthony Bourdain did was not heroic, understandable, or justifiable.  It was sick and abusive. 

God bless his poor little daughter.  She's going to need it. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

de Niro at the Tony Awards

Our President is negotiating a deal on nuclear arms on foreign soil, and this is how Robert de Niro chose to engage the Tony awards crowd:

How was it received?  Standing ovation.  Unanimous standing ovation.

If I'm running the Trump reelection campaign, this would be my campaign commercial.

This is how much the left hates those that dare disagree.  Scary.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Politics in Comedy Routine = Bad Comic

Pretty much everything is all politics, all the time.  We've retreated into our tribes, and we seek to make points spreading our vitriol to those who see the world differently than we do.

The same goes for comedy.  Comedy is rife with politics.  You can't get away from it.

Comics have always gone after politics, but it's a different world now.  There isn't equal disdain for both sides of the aisle - it only goes one way now.  Likewise, comics aren't shooting for laughs anymore.  They want applause.

That's what comedy is devolving into - what can I say to my tribe about our political opponents to get claps, not laughs?  Thus when Samatha Bee calls Ivanka Trump a "C" word and suggests that she has sex with her father, Bee is just reflecting what passes for successful comedy in 2018.

Want to be a good comic?  Leave the politics alone.  By going political the reactions you're getting are cheap at best, and at worst, you just flat suck as a comic.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Why Don't We Connect?

There are recent studies galore that reveal the abject loneliness in which many of us live.  How shocking, especially in this time of extreme connectedness.  

There have been lots of theories espoused on why this may be, and many of them revolve around the shallow nature of our communications, and subsequently, ultimately with our relationships.  

It's all so superficial. When we go, we don't go deep (if we even go at all...)  

Fr. Don weighed in on this recently:

"Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me" (Luke 1:43)? In the Gospel event that we call the visitation, these words are Elizabeth's response to a visit from her cousin Mary. The pregnant and elderly Elizabeth doesn't give a self-centered response: "Where were you? It's about time" but "How did I ever deserve this?" Elizabeth receives the gift of Mary's time and effort as an unexpected, most welcome kindness, a gift.

Daily life offers all of us opportunities to give generously and also to receive with gratitude and joy what others give. In our day the phone, letters, the Internet as well as convenient mobility make it possible for us to bring consolation, light, even some excitement to the lives of the lonely, the ill, the neglected, the aged, the suffering. Yet with so many technology-enhanced opportunities for communication and contact, we still plead "no time." Visitation in some form or other of those who would benefit from it is a snap for us today compared to what it was in Mary's time. What keeps us from doing more of it? Perhaps it's our lack of identification with the selflessness of Christ, something he learned at least partly from his mother. 

Lots to take away on this one...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mark Robinson Lays Down Some 2A Truth

Thanks to my Cuz, I got a peek at one of the most accurate and passionate speeches around the Second Amendment that you can find out there.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Saved by Sunfish

We were up at the cabin last week, and walleye fishing was tough.  Fortunately, I got a hot tip on an incredible panfish bite, so the next morning we took the 35-minute boat ride to Sucker Bay (and the furthest reaches of the bay at that).

It was worth it:

Here's Fuzzy with a 60 fish, 3 man limit.

While they took forever to clean, it was worth it as they made for an incredible fish fry.

Panfish aren't nearly as sexy as their bigger cousins, but when the action is that hot and the fish that tasty, you just can't beat them.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Statistics from the Viet Nam Memorial Wall

My cousin sent along these incredible statistics that come from the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC:

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E – May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W – continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war’s beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle’s open side and contained within the earth itself.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.The largest age group, 8,283 were just 19 years old 33,103 were 18 years old.12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam .31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia. I wonder why so many from one school.8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.The Marines of Morenci – They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci’s mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale – LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. KennedyĆ¢€™s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wife’s, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Here's a shot I took of the Wall in 2004.  Knowing some of the data, and the heroes, behind that momument make it all the more meaningful.

Happy Memorial Day - especially to those that paid the ultimate price in the war in Viet Nam.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday Song Share: John Mellencamp - Check It Out

The video looks dated as hell, as it should I guess as it was made in 1987.  Hard to believe it was that long ago.

While it's easy to get distracted by the imagery, the song itself is an awesome one, and the line "can't tell your best buddy that you love him," is one of the best lyrics in rock and roll.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Green Bay Marathoner Sets Record

I didn't think I'd be writing much about the place that we used to live, but out of Green Bay comes this amazing story of endurance:

And like a true Sconnie, he slams a beer at the end.  However, earn that PBR he certainly did.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What Happens on the Web in a Minute?

Check out this amazing infographic:

What's amazing about this is the growth in just one short year.

What will this look like in 5?  10?  Incredible.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Audi and Driving in the Future

We're quickly approaching the age of autonomous vehicles and intuitive artificial intelligence assistants.  Audi envisions what this future might be like, and how we'll respond:

Me?  I love to drive.  Always have.  I may not feel that way in the future, but for right now, I'll be damned if I sit in the back when I could be taking care of business in the front seat.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Why Me, God?

Life, ultimately, is suffering.  Some have a little, some have a lot, but all of us will know it, and feel its pain.

In those moments, we wonder where God is, and we wonder why we must suffer.  "Why me, God?  What's this purpose?"

We can't explain, and we can't understand.

Fr. Don addressed this issue in a recent post:

The funeral of a young woman murdered by an intruder in her apartment prompts many questions and frustrations along with great sadness among her friends. Two of Sandy's passions were music and children; she taught in a local school and loved her guitar. Friends and preachers both know how inadequate words are at such times. In Peter De Vries' novel, The Blood of the Lamb, the father of a young girl who has died of leukemia says that in the end all we can do is sit side-by-side on "the mourners' bench" holding each other in silence, linked by grief and compassion. No matter how poorly, how inadequately, we must express ourselves even in unspeakable sadness.

Another clue about what we can do comes from Sandy's passion for music. In it, whether performing or listening, we often find an outlet for thoughts and feelings too deep for banal words. The disaffected often pooh-pooh religious services, but the shared experience of music, as well as our poor words, is, I suspect, for most people some help and a necessity. Aldous Huxley writes: "After silence, what comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." 

You might say that even God felt the inadequacy of words when he resorted to something fleshly and palpable. God's word, God's son, became flesh (John 1:14). Rather than attempting to give us some verbal explanation for suffering and tragedy, God has shown solidarity with us in suffering by the cross and death of Jesus. There is God's answer to the age-old human question, "Why me? Why did this happen?" 

"My Son wasn't spared; you should not be too surprised."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Hanging by a Moment - Lifehouse

I know this song is somewhat dated, but damn, I have always loved it.  It has an awesome, Foo Fighters-esque bridge, which always gets me.

Turn it up and enjoy:

Friday, May 18, 2018

7 Deadly Sins, Digital Version

I bumped into this infographic online, and believe that it could not be more accurate:

Sure does make you think...

Thursday, May 17, 2018

How to Christen a Boat

Today, if everything goes OK, I'll be christening my new boat this afternoon.  How exactly does someone do that?  This little video shows the steps:

I can guarantee that my speech is going to be a hell of a lot better and my friends will be less well behaved, but this is what we'll be doing.  

Stay tuned for the name...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Robison Resigns with Vikings

Long time DT (so long ago he was the other end to Jared Allen) Brian Robison has resigned with the Vikings.

That's a good thing.


Because he has the best sack dance in all of football:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Dog Shaming

I tried bringing my dog to work last week, with disastrous results.  As such, a period of dog shaming was required:

I'll be needing to bring in a dog crate to prevent future jail breaks and subsequent poor behavior.  In the meantime, as it stands with life with a Yellow Dog, the struggle is real.  

Monday, May 14, 2018

Music for My Brother

My brother's birthday was yesterday, and normally I post up the music I gift to him that's on heavy rotation here at YDP headquarters.  Unfortunately, Mother's Day was yesterday, so my annual post to him got bumped.  I apologize, K, but I guess it came down the tiebreaker, and that was who I knew longer.  Mom had you by a year and a half.  

Here's this year's installment:

Learning How to Love - The Greyhounds: Sweet blue-eyed soul, and one of the coolest bands out there right now.  Smooth, soulful and funky.

Alright - Mike Yung: As long as we're on a soul kick, Yung belts this one all the way out of the park.  Cool guitar interjection, as well as a solid gospel back up.

Nervous Mary - The Breeders: Great 90's band comes back with a vengeance. Makes me pine for those days and that music.

We Will Rock You - Queen: This is a fast version from their Live Killers album.  I'm embarrassed to admit I never heard it before until I heard it this year in a commercial.  Holy cow, I was missing out.  This is exactly how this song should have been sung, especially live

She Needs Me - Foster the People: I really like this band, and their latest offering is really solid.

Wall of Glass - Liam Gallager: While I know this guy is really a jerk, he is really talented and makes some really good music.  Really well done.

Tappin' the Glass - Bros. Landreth: Continuing the glass theme comes this tune which could easily be a homage to 70's era Eagles or Poco.  A really nice listen.

Run - Foo Fighters:  This is your song for attacking that nasty hill on the bike.  

Red Hill Mining Town - U2: This was one of my favorite songs that they did when they did their Joshua Tree tour last year.  I was really surprised at that, as there is so much great material on that album, but for some reason, their performance of this song just really struck me.

Over Everything - Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile:  I think Courtney Barnett is one of the most talented songwriters out there right now, and it's not close. I love songs that don't have obvious rhymes; it's one of the reasons why I love Dylan so much.  When I first heard her sing "You give me some money and I'll make some origami, honey," I was so hooked.  I love the line in this song of "several levels at hard decibels."   Not a great voice (Dylan again) but talent galore.  Love her.

No Diggity - Blackstreet: I saw a Price cover of this song, which was a damn treat, but the original is still awesome.  "I like the way you work it..."

Roland - Interpol:  I know that a lot of Iterpol songs sound the same.  However, they all sound really good.

Broken Halos - Chris Stapleton:  My favorite living country artist, and it is not close.  Great voice, great songwriting.  Just awesome.

Sky Full of Song - Florence & The Machine: She continues to put out really damned good music.  The latest offering does not disappoint.  I just love her voice.

Seventh Heaven - Beck:  Dude is still relevant.  The best driving song of the mix.

Long Time Coming - Cheap Trick:  Speaking of still relevant.  Not much to offer with this one other than some nostalgia and appreciation of a band that still brings it, even after 40 years.

In My World - Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie:  Buckingham is brilliant; scattered but brilliant.  McVie's voice pairs so well with his, and this sounds a lot like it could have come off of Mac's Tango in the Night album from the late 80's.  Very cool.

Easy Money - Foghat:  Yes, that Foghat.  A deeper track that still holds up.

Get Off - Foxy:  As long as we're in the Wayback Machine, let's do some Foxy.

Passing Out - Strand of Oaks: A great way to close, with a great talent and a great song.

Hope you have a great birthday.  I love you tons.  

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day

I'm fortunate to have the best mom in the world.  That's not hyperbole.  I absolutely have the best mom in the world.  She's smart, engaged, conscientious, kind, generous, loving, fun, and accomplished.  If I've achieved anything in this life, it is due to her rearing of me and by me modelling her example.

She can also give the fish hell, and here she is with a clutch fish-fry saving catch last summer:

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  I am so very blessed and honored to be your son.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Ron Schara Says Goodbye

For a Minnesota outdoorsman there's no bigger icon than Ron Schara.  He's been writing outdoor columns for the StarTribune for as long as I can remember, and his suite of outdoor TV shows reflect his folksy passion for the outdoors.

Now at the end of his career, he's saying goodbye, and did so in a very sweet moment of a recent episode:

His was a unique voice, and a uniquely Minnesotan voice, and it will be missed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How to Get Home

I am loyal to Delta airlines.  I consolidate my travel to the one carrier and have been rewarded with Gold status for three years, and Silver for more than a half dozen more.  The status really does pay - I've been upgraded to first class quite a bit, and even having the ability to book into an exit row is worth it to me.

The loyalty has not come without at cost.  Being captive in their markets, Delta has had the opportunity to really price gouge, and gouge they did.  Lack of any serious competition, along with some friendly collusion on pricing, made it painful.  However, there is one benefit to being in a captive Delta market - you are always going to get home.

With Minneapolis as a primary hub, regardless where you were stranded, if you could find a way to another hub (Atlanta, Detroit, etc.), you'd find a way back to Minneapolis.  And if you got to Minneapolis, you had options in terms of getting the rest of the way home.

Just get to a hub, and you're golden.  

No, it's no fun paying a premium for living in a captive market.  However, if one looks at it as paying for insurance for getting home at a decent time, it makes the price a little more easy to swallow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Happy Birthday to Mrs. YDP

She may be another year older, but she couldn't be more beautiful to me.  

Here she is, out celebrating with me on St. Patrick's Day:

I am a lucky man, indeed. 

Happy birthday, Sweetheart.  I love you more than I could write in a thousand blog posts.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Wood Duck Box Changing

This past weekend we were up at the duck camp for a labor weekend.  The biggest task was mowing fire breaks around the property for an impending burn of our switchgrass.  The burn is necessary as it kills off the noxious weeds, kills off the pocket gophers, and results in a much thicker, robust field of grass for our pheasants.

We were also to do some cleaning of wood duck boxes as the weather had gotten warm, our lakes opened, and wood ducks would soon be nesting.

While Fuzzy was working on the plumbing, I decided to start work on the houses without him.  I drove our vehicle to the first box, climbed up and unscrewed the base to remove any eggshells or debris and replace the bedding.

As I lowered the base out of the box, I thought to myself,  "Damn, this base seems heavy."  At heavy it was, as when I got it out of the house, I was met with a hen wood duck sitting on a brood of eggs. 

I'm not sure who was more surprised, and she managed to fly away and I managed to not spill any eggs from the full nest.  I quickly replaced the base while she watched from a nearby lake.

I guess the old bedding from last year is going to have to work.  Judging by my interaction, it does seem to be working just fine.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Missing in Action

Greetings, YDP readership.

I apologize for the radio silence.  Things have been very busy up here, and I was on the road for much of last week attending the Craft Brewers Conference for work.

Hard work, that craft brew...

A couple of take aways from the trip:

  • The craft brew trend is still on the grow - over 1,700 breweries were represented, with most doing incredibly well, and new ones coming on line all the time.
  • There is a ton of really good beer being made right now.  Simply amazing.
  • Massive beards are all the rage for these guys.  I looked totally out of place.
  • Nashville is a hell of a nice town.
  • Despite thinking I'd have down time to write, I did not.
I'll be writing and posting a lot this week and will have things back to normal.  In the meantime, thanks for sticking with me here at YDP.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Trouble No More - Muddy Waters

Taken two years before his death, he was still relevant and laying down the blues.  I would have so much liked to have seen him play.  Given his brokering of the blues in England, and the music is subsequently spawned, he's arguably one of the most influential figures in rock and roll music.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Port Authority Commissioner Versus Cops

Want to know why people hate politicians?  This is why people hate politicians:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Rise of the Theyby

In the latest in the fight to 1) eradicate all masculinity and 2) create a world where gender is simply a choice, some parents are choosing to raise their babies as genderless humans.


The child has no gender-specific name, pronoun, clothes, etc.  It really is an it, allowing it to become whatever it will become.

You can check out the full article here.

Here's a quote from an enlightened parent raising a theyby of their own (emphasis mine):

“Our baby is going to be whatever they want to be,” he says. “And then we’re going to send somebody out into the world who is in turn not going to project their own opinions or stereotypes onto who someone else should be. I’m happy for our kid to be the vehicle in which our parents and friends get up to speed with what’s going on. Change has to happen, and we’re doing it.

Change has to happen, and if my baby is subject to untold trauma to get it done, so be it.

We live in a completely depraved and sick world, and we deserve everything that is coming to us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Yankee Woes

After giving up 22 runs over the past two nights, the Twins ineptitude against the Yankees appears to be well intact here in the 2018 season.  Our inability to do anything with the Bronx Bombers is well established, but the last two games have yielded a special level of ugly.

It's not just the pitching, either.  The bats have gone cold as we've put up a whopping 4 runs against the Yanks' 22.  

The Twins are clearly in a swoon; we've dropped five straight and have gone from first place in the division to two games below .500.  Certainly, there's a lot of baseball left to be played, and that's the good news.

The bad news?  We face the Yankees again today.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Why the Wild Have No Chance

Down 3-1, the Wild have their backs to the wall; facing Winnipeg on the road in two out of the next three games if they could possibly stay alive.  But stay alive they won't.  

Why?  Lots of reasons.  They lost Suter before the playoffs started.  They lost Parise at the end of game 3.  They've been drastically outplayed in three out of the four playoff games thus far.

But here's the real reason why they're done:

That was the Wild's best player and the only source of consistent offense taking a brutal cross check to the head.  But they'll lose not because of what happened.  Rather, they'll lose because of what didn't happen.

At no time in the rest of the game was there any payback for this brutal hit to their best player.  Nothing.  And when a team doesn't have each other's backs, especially in hockey, they're done.

Get your golf clubs ready, boys, because your gutless rear ends are going to be off the ice by the end of the night.

Cowardly, gutless, selfish losers.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

SW1380 Audio

Southwest flight 1380 had an engine explode and a passenger killed by debris.  Despite this, the plane laned without further catastrophy.  Part of the reason was the professionalism of the team working on the situation.

Here's the audio of what that sounded like:

What remarkable composure by all involved.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Britain in Free Fall

Yesterday the Daily Mail reported that there is a machete crime committed in Britain every 90 minutes.  

Machete crime.  Seriously.

Also recently reported is that London has passed up New York on number of homicides, despite England's ban on guns.  Indeed, most of the deaths have been caused by knives.

You know why people aren't killed with machetes or knives on our streets?  Because you never know who might be packing, and it is suicide to bring a knife to a gun fight.

Still, Londoners click their tongues at us in chat rooms for our gun violence while those that they've invited to their country continue to hack at their necks and spill their blood onto the streets.

You reap what you sow.