Sunday, August 31, 2014

Best Called Shot Ever?

Those of you that watch the Twins broadcasts know that Bert and Dick like to predict a home run by making a "call."  While they're mostly wrong, they're right enough times to be entertaining.

But this entertaining?  I don't think so:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Song Share: Ben Taylor - Nothing I Can Do

James Taylor's son.  Think he sounds a little like his dad?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Obama Has "No Strategy" for ISIS

In what was arguably the worst press conference in the Obama Administration's six years, the President, on camera, does not have a strategy to deal with Syria and the ISIS situation.

Here's the video.  The money quote is at the 2:50 mark.

I've got a strategy for you, champ.  Get your butt off the golf course, cancel the omnipresent fund raising activities, and DO YOUR FREAKING JOB.  

Let's start with that as a "strategy," OK?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Who Believes that "Everyone Should Get a Trophy?"

"Everyone gets a trophy!"  Really?

Reason-Rupe recently published a study in which they asked a variety of American adults the following question:

"Do you think all kids that play sports should receive a trophy for their participation, or should only the winning players be awarded trophies?"

As one that grew up in the 70's, the whole concept of everyone getting a trophy is one that is completely foreign to me, and is something that I just flat couldn't understand.  It is a trend that has me worried, but fortunately a significant portion of Americans still agree with me.

But then we get into this data:

Intuitively, this makes sense - the "haves" want winners to get the trophies, the "have nots" want trophies for just showing up.  

As this thinking continues to manifest itself in our economy, politics, and mores, expect to continue to see a propagation of Americans that want their bleeping trophy. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mobile Testing on

A number of weeks ago I wrote about and the what a great service it provided.  Since that time I've continued with additional tests, made more money, and have been approved for their mobile testing corps.  In fact, I just received my camera, installed it, and am now awaiting my first mobile test.

Here's what the process looks like:

As shown, the process also works for tablets, so I'm hopeful I'll get to do some iPad testing as well.  It looks like it should continue to be a fun process.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Golfing in the Dew

One of the nice things about being the first tee time off in the morning is the dew on the greens.  It makes for slower, less difficult putts.

It also makes for nice editorials for subsequent golfers:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Coexist Cartoon

Back at the time of the Boston Marathon bombing, I wrote about the irony of the bombers carjacking a car that had one of those sanctimonious "Coexist" bumper stickers.

With the most recent beheading of an American citizen, I found this cartoonist's take on the whole "Coexist" thing to be spot on:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Badmouthing the Customer

I'm quickly losing patience for those leaders in organizations that badmouth their customers.  I've never in my career understood why an executive in a company would make fun of their customer, or allow such folly to occur in the first place.

Perhaps it is because they are that elitist, and view their common customer as beneath them.  Perhaps there is something Freudian going on where they feel the need to hate the one they need to love.   Maybe they do it as minimizing people can make one feel superior.  I truly don't know the answer.  What I do know is that the customer is a given business' meal ticket - the company, employees, and all of those pay checks don't exist without the customer.  And I don't care if they might be uneducated, fat, rubes, ignorant, backward, simple or whatever, if they're the ones responsible for putting food on the table and a roof over the head, these people are worthy of support and honor.

It's simple, isn't it?  Business 101.

Makes you wonder who is truly the ignorant one.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

20th Anniversary in Photos

Last weekend, Mrs. YDP and I spent our 20th anniversary at the place in which we first honeymooned - the north shore of Lake Superior.  It is an absolutely gorgeous area, and while we'd not been there in at least ten years, we discovered enough old favorites that it felt like a trip down memory lane.

Here are the highlights
A photo from the shore on the way up

One of dozens of beautiful falls in the area

A cairn we found.  I added the top two (likely a cairn no-no, and way, way harder than it looks)

Mrs. YDP's cairn, built from scratch.  Again, not as easy as it looks

With my leg still chumped up, I did a ton of biking around the many scenic trails

Sailboats in the harbor of Grand Marais

A typical Superior shoreline

Our celebration wine

Another falls, this one on the Cross River.  The river is named Cross because...

Father Baraga, a missionary priest that erected a cross at the mouth of the river after being miraculously blown into the river after being caught in a massive gale on the lake.

Not sure when we'll ever be back - time will tell.  But we were fortunate for our time up there and for the memories that we made.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Holy Grail of Bloody Marys (and it's not Ike's)

A favorite restaurant of ours in Minneapolis is Ike's Food and Cocktails.  Their pre-game brunch is just the ticket ahead of a Twins or a Vikings game, but that's not even their best.  Their best is their bloody mary, which is a meal in a cup:

While this concoction is absolutely the best bloody mary in the Twin Cities, unfortunately it can't hold a candle to this:

Yes, that is really a cocktail that is being sold (by Sobelman's in Milwaukee), and yes, it is garnished with a fried chicken.  A full fried chicken.  

Which naturally makes me "think" of this:

Sorry, Ike's, I love you, but you got some work to do...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clash of Crack

Being in retail, it's important for me to keep up with what's in popular culture.  While I'm not a fan of most of it, it's part of my job, so I try to be as familiar with movies, books, music, and social media memes as I can.  

That applies to games as well, although I try as hard as I can to stay away from them.  I grew up in the era that launched video games, and I spent enough quarters in the Mound Bowling Alley in my youth to fund a couple of college educations.  I flat love video games, and love them too much.  I can easily spend way too much time on them.  I am cognizant of this weakness, hence I do what I can to not get involved with them in the first place.  Overall, it has been a fairly successful strategy.

But one day at work we got to talking about Clash of Clans - the wildly popular game for mobile devices - and I felt the need to learn more about it as we had products coming that referenced characters in the game.  So I downloaded the game, and was bad at it enough at it to be able to put it down and not engage with it too much.  But then a 50 year old golfing buddy of mine (a game addict as well), grabbed my phone one day, gave me some tips, and threw it back at me.

It seems like it's not left my hand since.

The game is wildly addicting.  Game designers have truly mastered the craft of making games with so many varied reward thresholds that it strikes to the absolute core of human psychology.  Thus, it leaves players in a constant mode of "just one more X and I can do Y - I can't wait!"

How long will I play?  Not sure.  Is it an issue?  Yeah, not a big one (yet), but it is.  

In the meantime, I gotta go.  My army just finalized building, and I need to attack to gain more elixir to enable me to build a new castle before someone attacks and takes it from me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What Are Helicopters Flying Over Minneapolis Doing?

Numerous Minneapolis based friends last night lit up social media, trying to understand why so many helicopters were buzzing through downtown Minneapolis last night at low altitudes.  It turns out that Minneapolis and St. Paul police are conducting joint exercises with the military.  That's all, go back to bed.

Wait.  What?

I am not a tinfoil hat wearing paranoid freak, but someone please tell me why in the world our police force need to conduct joint exercises with our military in a US urban setting?  What kind of real-world scenario would need to play out to mimic and justify such a training?  Why is training being conducted where US citizens represent the enemy?  Finally, why is there no outrage to this?

The times in which we live are getting scarier and scarier.

Monday, August 18, 2014

What Do Frequent Travelers Think of In-Flight Phone Calls?

I don't travel a ton for work - maybe 25,000 miles per year - but enough that I keep up on some business traveler web boards for tips and perks.  One such board, SmartBrief, recently asked their readership if the Department of Transportation should formally ban all cell phone calls on flights.

Given the nature of this audience - hard core business travelers - you might expect some to want to be able to be productive on the flight via making phone calls.  You'd be wrong:

It turns out, at least for the hard core business traveler, that being able to be unplugged and peace & quiet around them far outweigh the productivity gained by being able to make calls.   I can't disagree.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

Obama Golfs, the World Burns

Thanks to the good folks over at The Obama Golf Counter, our hard-working President is up to 184 rounds since first taking office.  But we shouldn't begrudge his time off, as he's working so hard, should we?

Why don't we ask candidate Obama:

Just another in a long line of this person saying anything (and I do mean anything) to make life politically more expedient for him.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Tailgating Shelter

Life at Lambeau Field can be pretty damn tough, especially if you're a Vikings fan.  But the really brutal part is the wind in the parking lot.  Tailgating at Lambeau is arguably one of the finest experiences in sports, but it can be absolutely ruined by a sub zero day combined with a 20MPH+ wind.

Hence, I made a little upgrade for our forays to the frozen tundra this year:

It should be just what the doctor ordered as it pertains to keeping the heat from the propane heater in, and keeping the wind out.  Which is important, because when it gets too cold, my wife stand way too close to the heater, as evidenced by this picture:

This was taken mere minutes before her jacket caught fire.   Hopefully, we can avoid such episodes in the future with the new shelter.  We'll see.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Twenty Years On

It's been twenty years now since I saw my bride's face
In her gorgeous pink dress with just enough lace
And since that great day a lot has transpired
But my need to be yours has never grown tired
Lots has changed in our lives; so much different now
Than they were at the time when we said our vows
But one thing is clear and it brought to the fore:
I love you more now than I have ever before

I know how that sounds, and it smacks of cliche
But there's no other method of which I can convey
The warmth that I feel when in the presence of you
And the fact that you've made so many dreams to come true
The victories, losses, tears, joys, and just life
Have been made all the better with you as my wife
At my side, as a team, you and I move into
The unfolding future and days sprung anew

So on our 20th anniversary I choose not to look back
Although our memories and history have nothing to lack
No I choose to look forward, and consider instead
The path laid in front of us and what is ahead
While things may not go as exactly as planned
I know for a fact that my life will be grand
For I continue to fall so much more deeply in love
You are my gift from God up above

Thank you for loving me - thanks for your care
Thank you for always being for me there
Thanks for giving me love in which I could bask
There's no better partner for which I could ask
Do you feel the same?  Would you still say "I do?"
If you had the chance to still marry me, could and would you?
If the answer is "yes," then hold my hand and come on
We've got more time to go when we're twenty years on

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Look Up Video

There is a lesson here for all of us.

Especially me

Sunday, August 10, 2014

University of Minnesota's Hot Issue: Use of Word "Redskins"

The University of Minnesota is campaigning to have the Washington Redskins refrain from using the name "Redskins" when they play the Vikings at the University's TCF Bank Stadium on November 2.  They've been working on this now for over a month.

Consider all that is going on in the world right now:

  • Literal genocide in Iraq
  • Ebola on the cusp of a breakout
  • Russia on the verge of going into the Ukraine
  • A US government that spies upon, intimidates, and persecutes its citizens that are deemed as political enemies (Hi, NSA!)
  • Record labor participation rates and disability rates
And those are just the things going on in the world.  As we're all aware, college kids can be pretty egocentric.  Hence, consider things that are directly impacting them:
  • Record tuition rates
  • Record University costs and bureaucracy
  • Record student debt levels
  • Among the worst college graduate unemployment and underemployment in history
All of that, but the "U" is worried about a word.  A bleeping word.

This is so typical of what the Left has consistently done recently, which is to summarily ignore major issues that have true impacts on life on Earth to focus on fringe issues to keep the populace distracted.  Hence we get "war on women," gay marriage, and legalized marijuana nearly 24/7 in the media.  The Left and their willing partners in the media just keep the drumbeat going, and keep the focus on the fringe, and an ignorant and willing populace dutifully oblige.

It is a very effective game, and University is guilty of playing it.  And that is why, even though I'm a graduate of that institute and have the means to support them, the University will not receive a dime from me.

Not one thin dime. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Song Share: Van Morrison - These are the Days

This is the love of the one Magician
Turned the water into wine

Friday, August 8, 2014

News Flash: President Obama Acts Presidential

No use of words like "hatin'."  No celebrities or sports figures.  No golf courses or Martha's Vineyard.  Still a lot of use of "I," "my," "me," and other pronouns to let you know he's still a narcissist.  Still an almost ridiculous amount of dependency on the Tele-Promp-Ter.  But at least the guy has finally acted presidential in his second term.

About freaking time.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Great Human Divide

Yesterday, President Obama hosted the leaders from the nations across Africa in a summit.  What a dichotomy some of those leaders must have seen at the event.  Coming from societies of abject poverty - ones filled with starvation, disease, low life expectancy, and lacking basic subsistence items like running water - they're now thrust into a society that ponders the wonders brought forth by the impending use of self-driving cars, electronic augmented memory, and life expanding medical techniques.

It is easy for us to live in the cocoon of our electronic life in 2014, with our mobile devices, our daily news blogs, our omni-connectedness, and all of the advantages these afford.  Yet there are those that live in a completely different world - one so hard and ill-advanced that it looks something akin to something our forefathers' forefathers had to endure.

Yet, still they're there.  In our hyper connected world, they're an eight hour plane ride away.

Eight hours.  That's all it takes to go from the hubris our electronic comfort affords us and wondering if you're going to survive to live another day or not due to despotism, terrorism, disease, or lack of food or clean water.

Eight hours.  Think about that the next time the barista screws up your latte order.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Uneven Aging

In a couple of months I turn 50 years old.  I don't feel 50 - not physically, and certainly not mentally.  Hell, in a lot of respects, mentally I'm still 18 years old, and that's not hyperbole or exaggeration.  

As I get close to this milestone, I'm struck seeing my high school and college friends and other age cohorts and how they're aging, and the diversity is amazing.  Some look like they just stepped out of my high school year book (and a couple of them are grandparents).  Some, on the other hand, look twenty years senior to their age.

It just goes to show the difference in lives - how they're lived (stress, alcohol, drugs, exercise, etc.) and what happens in them (loss, abuse, work, heath care, etc.), and how all of that manifests itself in how we look and feel.

I've lived a very good and had a very fortunate first 50 years.  I hope that my appearance in some ways belies some of the blessings I have been fortunate enough to receive.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

War Eagle Marshtoon - Floating Duck Blind

In the latest issue of Wildfowl (their annual gear issue), a boat was featured in the boat section that has captured my attention.  Called the "Marshtoon," it is from the good folks at War Eagle - purveyors of duck boats for decades now.

It's basically a floating platform, and while it appears to be a pain to maneuver, if a guy were able to get placement in a specific location for the season (and keep other hunters out of it), it would be a hell of a rig from which to hunt.  

You can check out more information on the boat/platform/blind by clicking here.

Well done, War Eagle

Monday, August 4, 2014

Israel Condemned. Again.

Israel is receiving more "condemnation" for their attack yesterday that killed 10.  It seems that a motorcycle carrying three militants (not sure how they got three on a bike, but I digress) got taken out by a missile, and there were civilian casualties that died.  And when that kind of stuff happens, the world howls.

Never mind the Hamas missile launches which, by design, target Israeli civilians.  Never mind Hamas using citizens as human shields.  Never mind weapons being stored in schools and hospitals.  Never mind the bullying, intimidation, and threats imposed by Hamas on those that try to report the truth of what is happening over there.

Forget all that.  Abject antisemitism doesn't need to fight fair. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday Song Share: Ivy - Fascinated

Nice song, and nice homage to 1980's music videos: