Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trump Owns State of the Union

Trump stayed on script and delivered one of the best state of the union speeches since Reagan.  It really was that great.  It celebrated the country, took credit for the good works the administration had done, and laid down markers for where we were heading.  It was a conservative anthem we haven't heard since the 1980's.

Really.

And what did the Democrats have to offer?  Frowns.  Sitting through the lowest historic unemployment rate for blacks.  Running out of the room because someone dared chanted "USA!"  Then throwing out a Kennedy (holy crap, I'm not kidding) who looked like he just left from the beer pong table to scold us for our "hate" and regale us with stories of worried parents of tranny kids.  

Seriously.  Watch this kid get touted as a presidential candidate because the cupboard is truly that bare as it pertains to any kind of talent with a (D) behind it.  

That is what liberalism offers in the era of Trump.  If they continue to be a party without ideas, one that only offers hate of the opposition, and one that only panders to the very fringes, Trump wins 2020 in a romp, because that is EXACTLY why he won in 2016.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday Song Share: The Time - Jungle Love

Not their best song of all Time (hey - see what I did there?), but certainly one of them.

Regardless of what you felt about Morris Day, the dude was really, really cool:


Friday, January 26, 2018

Tostitos Super Bowl Commercial / Party Invite

Tostitos has developed a really cool way to invite folks to your upcoming Super Bowl party - you can do so by creating your own Super Bowl commercial.

You'll need to click this link to see it (I can't embed it), but it is pretty cool technology.  And, as you're creating it, if you're not a fan of how it came out, you can remix it for various other scenes.

Cool stuff.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Changing of Guard at US Bank Stadium

As is done in some other stadiums, US Bank stadium has a seat dedicated to our POW/MIA soliders.  During games, these seats are guarded by a Marine (who else?).

Here's a changing of that guard during a recent game:



Yes, this team can break our hearts on the field, but sometimes, based on their actions, they can warm those same hearts based on what they do off it.

Skol.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Peloton Tread

What does a $4000 treadmill look like?  This:



Is it worth it?  

  • The platform itself looks incredible, and from a footprint standpoint, looks to take up a fraction of the size of a typical treadmill.
  • The content and it's delivery system look incredible, although if this works the same as the bike, it will requrie a seperate subscription fee.
  • The cross-fit techniques make a ton of sense, and will help those that follow them to avoid traditional runners' injuries.
I won't personally be buying one anytime soon, but they are admittedly really cool.  Fitness is continuing to meet up with technology.

Good stuff.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Justice Delayed. Why?

This past year there were two massive stories, and neither of them made sense.  First, a Somali police officer shot and killed a woman who had reported a crime.  She came out to talk to the officers, stood at the driver's side of the vehicle, did nothing inappropriate, but the Somali officer grabbed his gun and shot the woman in cold blood, across the body of his "partner."

To date, we've been offered no explanation or any kind of justice.

Second, after planning and executing preparation for the deed, a man at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino rained down death in a mass shooter rampage.  58 people were killed, and over 800 were injured.  

Again, to date, we've been offered no explanation.  We don't know the motives of the killer, or if there is any kind of future risk.  Just silence.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist.  I'm really not.  However, something REALLY stinks in these cases.  After months and millions spent in investigation, we still know nothing?  Really?

I'm not buying it.  Some truth in both of these cases, regardless of how horrific, would be appreciated. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Another Chapter in Vikings Playoff Heartache

As a Vikings fan, I knew what the history was.  However, this year seemed different.  The stadium.  The skol chant.  The Case Keenum article.  The Minneapolis Miracle.  The chance to be the first team to play the Super Bowl on their home field.

It all seemed different.  Around the state it felt like 1987 or 1991 with the Twins.  There was a vibe.  

And then, going into Philadelphia as 3 point favorites, we were crushed 38-7 in a game that wasn't close after the first quarter.  We were outmatched, outcoached, and outexecuted.  It was yet another chapter of Vikings playoff heartache.

Where does it rank?  Let's see:

7) 2016 Blair Walsh misses a 27 yard chip shot
6) 1988 The Darrin Nelson drop at the goal line
5) 2017 The Philly massacre
4) 2001 One of the greatest Vikings teams of all times loses 41 - doughnut in New York
3) 2010 Brett Favre is targeted and battered by a cheating New Orleans defense
2) 1998 Gary Anderson's miss after being perfect all season
1) 1975 and Drew Pearson's push-off.  Of course.

Top five - that's not bad.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

IHop Pancakes Ad

A good old-fashioned advertising technique is to cram as many product mentions into the ad as possible.  IHop does this, and then some, with their latest ad:



Throw in the great close in the parking lot, and this one's a home run.

Better said, this one's "pancakes."

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Stevie Ray Vaughn - Tin Pan Alley

We go back to the blues with one of the greatest guitarist to have ever lived.  Here is Texas' Mr. Vaughn, at the height of his powers:


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Red House TV Commercial

There are almost too many things to love about this.

Just enjoy:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Diggs Catch is Puckettesque

As a Minnesota sports fan, this was the biggest single play since Puckett's Game 6 home run heroics.  

I know it's been shown ad nauseam.  Don't care.  Biggest Vikings play ever.

To paraphrase Jack Buck, "And we'll see you Sunday night!"

Monday, January 15, 2018

Trump Does the Talking Heads

I remember when I first saw the original of this video back in high school, and how cool I thought it was at the time.  The Talking Heads, David Byrne, the whole thing.  Now this.  I'll never be able to see the original in the same light again.

Good stuff - great mashup

Sunday, January 14, 2018

End the Suffering

I have been a Minnesota sports fan my entire life.  I've seen a vast swath of championship performance:

  • I've seen the Twins win two World Series and celebrated the second one at Bullwinkles on Seven Corners.  When Larkin hit that ball, the place went absolutely ape.  It remains my happiest sports moment of all time.
  • I've seen the Met host a Stanley Cup final, but I did leave the game early as I couldn't bring myself to watch Lemieux skate around my beloved ice holding the cup over the Stars' heads.
  • I enjoyed the dominance of Gopher hockey and watched it parlayed into a gold medal for the USA when, as a country, we desperately needed it.  I've then watched them parachute to hockey irrelevance.
  • I've hopped around my living room, watching SJU on ESPN winning one of its myriad NCAA D3 Championships.
  • I've watched too many talented Gopher basketball teams content to win NIT championships.
  • I've watched the Wild be happy about making the playoffs, and then get thumped by a clearly more talented team. 
  • I've watched the Gopher football team consistently suck, and happy to make it to lower-tier bowls.
  • I've watched great Vikings teams - truly great by any measure - lose in the playoffs or in the Super Bowl.
Of all the highs and lows, the only thing I truly care about anymore is the last bullet.  I'm tired of feeling like this team has a curse.  I'm tired of having some incredible teams and having nothing at all to show for it.  I'm tired of having to put up with the jokes and ridicule.

As it comes to sports, I've seriously never wanted something more in all my life.

Come on, Vikings.  It starts today.  End the suffering.

Skol! 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Truckin' Buddy

As an owner of an old dog, as well as a body clearly in its middle age, this is a hell of an invention:



I think the next YDP mobile will definitely be a pickup truck, and this will likely be on the short list of accessories to add.  Cool stuff.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fitness Matters for the Older Set

I'm rapidly careening into my mid-50's, and frankly, my habits aren't the best.  

Old age isn't the end of physical fitness.  In fact, this very blunt message reminds us that our quality of life is really dependent on how seriously we take our fitness.

Tough words, but true.  

Time to hit the gym...


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

More on Oprah

I had a very wide-ranging discussion with Mrs. YDP last night on the Golden Globes.  She put forth the postulate that Oprah's speech was a good one, and the Oprah alone could not have "fixed" Hollywood.

Maybe.

However, in YDP's world, if you see evil and choose to do nothing (especially because it is fiscally prudent to do so), that makes you evil as well.  You're simply no better than the ones committing the atrocities.  

That's exactly why, upon liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in WWII, GIs forced the local populace into the camps to clean them and to serve witness to what was committed in their backyard, with their permission.

If Oprah had blown a whistle ten years ago, could she have changed things?  Maybe, maybe not.  But here's what I know for sure:

  • She's arguably the most powerful woman in the world.  Part of being a good leader is understanding how to use power.  If she can't understand that, I'd argue she wouldn't make a very good president
  • Because she didn't do anything hundreds if not thousands of people were harmed.  She needs to own that.  She was happy to stand by and watch.
  • Not only did she watch, but she did this:


Still think Oprah is presidential material?

Gross.  Just gross.

True heroes expose evil.  They fight evil.  Even up to their deaths.

They don't go around protecting evil with their silence, and they certainly don't go around kissing evil...

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oprah's Speech

Everyone is positively euphoric of Oprah's speech at the Golden Globes.  "An history moment."  "The picture of speaking truth to power."  "Her candidacy for the presidency begins now."

One problem:  They knew.  They ALL knew.  For decades.   How many lives were trashed because, until now, it would have been personally inconvenient to say anything?  

Shame on you, Hollywood.

That includes you too, Oprah.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Yellow Dog's Last Retrieves

2017 marked full retirement for the yellow dog from hunting.  She was 12 this year, and while in good shape, her muscle mass had decreased substantially, and she showed significant signs of arthritis.  Thus, she logged a lot of nap time in our visits to the duck camp this year.

There were two exceptions.  One Sunday afternoon, my departing partner texted me on his way off the property, stating "Bunch of roosters on the south side of the driveway by wild rice pond.  Counted 4."  I texted back a thanks, and thought maybe those birds might still be around when I departed five minutes later.  If they were, I'd take the yellow dog out for one last quick run.

We drove down the driveway and arrived at the previously identified spot, but saw nothing.  Still, it was a nice day, and I figured we could take a quick five-minute walk and see if anything could be scented.  I loaded up my gun and let out from her crate, and she bolted forward like she was ten years younger.

The dog moved slowly but deliberately, and almost instantly got birdy.  We tracked a bird up twenty yards then across the road.  From there the dog really got excited, and we immediately flushed a hen, then another, then another.  I was disappointed that her hard work had not yielded a rooster, but then the dog hooked a hard left and a lone rooster exploded from the cover.

I knew the gravity of the shot - this would be my dog's last flush - and the last thing I wanted to do was choke.  I took my time getting my barrel in front of the hard-crossing bird, got my lead, and gently squeezed the trigger.  Fortunately, the bird crumpled with my first shot, and the yellow dog was on him like a shot and brought him back to hand.  I was able to capture it on my camera:

  

Later in the season, I was able to get the dog her last duck retrieve.  Given the late sunrise, I decided to sleep at home and depart at 4:00 AM for my drive to the camp.  I'd be able to sleep one more night in my own bed, but would still be able to get to camp and set up in plenty of time before legal shooting hours.

I took my dog with me but left her in my crate in the truck at the landing, where she'd be able to sleep, warm and dry, while I hunted.

We had a great hunt on our dry land point and dropped a number of birds.  One bird did get away from us, and my partner's dog was unable to retrieve it.  It was floating quickly away on a brisk northeast wind and was floating right toward our landing.  I wanted to the landing to cut off the floating bird and expected to walk out on the dock and simply grab it.  Unfortunately, the trajectory of the bird would make it impossible for me to reach.  What to do?

I remembered my sleeping dog in my nearby vehicle.  Again, I opened up her crate and found a very willing partner, and she ran down to the lake like she already knew what she needed to do.  I pointed to the bobbing bird, commanded "fetch," and out she went.  Agin, I was able to capture it:



The water was near freezing, and by the time I got the dog back into her crate, she was visibly shaking.  As I turned on the vehicle to let the heat warm her up and covered her up with a blanket, I'm pretty sure she smiled at me.

No, after 12 years of bringing birds back to me, there won't be any more opportunities.  While I'll certainly miss that, I am so very grateful for the last two memories she provided me.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sirach, Chapter 3 and Missing Dad

Last Sunday's first reading got to me and sure made me think about and miss my Dad:

Sirach Chapter 3


12 My son, be steadfast in honoring your father;

do not grieve him as long as he lives.

13 Even if his mind fails, be considerate of him;

do not revile him because you are in your prime.

14 Kindness to a father will not be forgotten;

it will serve as a sin offering—it will take lasting root.

15 In time of trouble it will be recalled to your advantage,


like warmth upon frost it will melt away your sins.

I hope that I was appropriately considerate of him, even as his mind failed him.  I know there were times of significant frustration, and hopefully, those sins will be offset by the kindness I tried to show.

Even in his worst condition - unable to recognize me and barely able to speak - I still miss seeing him.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Friday, January 5, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jack Daniels Squire Benefit - My Own Barrel

As stated here previously, I am a Jack Daniels Squire.  It comes with some pretty significant benefits, and last month's was one of the best.  Here's the offer:


The experience sounds incredible, as does the whiskey.  Too bad I didn't have a spare $11,000 laying around, as last Christmas would have been awesome for my Jack-loving family and friends.  

Hope they do it again sometime down the road when I have a lot more chips.  Until then, I guess it will just be straight old No. 7 and me again tonight.

Not a bad fallback plan...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Left and Islam

In Iran, there are currently protests against an oppressive Islamic regime.  How oppressive?  This woman dared remove her hajib, and was likely arrested for her "crime:"


This is Islam's version of Rosa Parks.  Seriously.  This woman could have been killed for this protest, and very well might have.  Killed for showing her face in public (it is 2018 - how the hell is this even possible?)  However, over here in the West, our enlightened betters see the hajib as something to be celebrated.  Remember hajib Barbie?

Why oh why does the Left hitch its wagon to a movement that is so overtly anti-woman and anti-gay?  It is so contrary to everything that they claim they stand for, yet their support, be it immigration policy, cultural agenda, or whatever, is unwavering.  Why is this?  I have a couple of theories:

  • The Left hates the West.  It believes that the ills of our world have been caused by a xenophobic, criminal, and a hostile subjugation of the world by western culture.  Since Islam hates the West more than anyone else, the enemy of my enemy...
  • The Left also hates Christianity, to its core.  It believes that Christianity has caused far more ills than it has solved, and is more than happy to continually bleat about the crusades or abuses by priests or some other wrong committed by Christianity.  Likewise, the Left considers those that practice religion as ignorant - belief in "an invisible spaghetti monster."  Since Islam hates Christians second only to its hatred of Jews, they're again the enemy of my enemy.  Despite their belief in "an invisible spaghetti monster."
  • The Left hates Jews.  Not the Jews that are just "cultural" (which are almost universally Democrats).  No, the Jews that actually practice their religion, and especially those Jews that dare live in Isreal.  Indeed, the sole example of capitalism and freedom in the Middle East is deemed by the Left to be the most oppressive and criminal regime on our globe.  So, again, the enemy of my enemy...
The Left considers itself the "tolerant" portion of the political spectrum.  Hardly.  Their hatred of the West and of Christianity have developed a blind eye to the most brutal, oppressive, backward, and intolerant culture and religion currently on the face of the earth.    

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Spend Your Life Living

Northwestern Mutual has developed a new ad campaign, and they're offering a very different message than those typically delivered by investment firms:



Most other firms are pushing the goal of investing as merely retirement, and playing on the justified fears of so many Americans that they've not saved enough for their retirement.  However, Northwestern Mutual is conveying the message that life is to be lived, and some things are important now.

That message really strikes a chord with me.  I watched my Dad work himself ragged, and while he still made time to moments to live life, he clearly was working toward being able to retire and to do all those things he had built up on his list.  He invested well, and while not frugal, he sacrificed and lived within his means.  

Then he was diagnosed with early onset dementia, and his retirement was relegated to a memory care facility.

I guess all of us are guilty of falling into "someday syndrome" - someday I'll spend more time with my family, someday I'll take that trip I've always wanted to take, someday I'll adopt more healthy habits, someday I'll take the time to let people know how much they mean to me, someday I'll volunteer more, someday I'll be a more active member of my church, someday, someday, someday...

Unfortunately, we're all one horrific diagnosis from our "somedays" being converted to "nevers."  Hence, someday is right now.

What are you going to do with that?


Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

A lot sure has transpired in 2017.  In some respects, it has been a tough march.  However, upon a holistic review, there is a lot for which we can be thankful.

It's easy to pine for what could be, and in the middle of all of that pining, we miss so much of what is literally right in front of us.  We miss the time we have at hand, the closeness of the ones we love, the opportunity afforded us, and the blessings of health.

As we head into 2018, my wish for all of us is clarity.  Clarity of what's truly important.  Clarity of our blessings, even despite our setbacks.  Clarity of the value of connection.   Clarity of the power of love over everything else.

Blessings to you and your family this New Year's Day.  I hope it's your best year yet.
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