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.