Saturday, December 29, 2018

Saturday Song Share: The Kinks - Apeman

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

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

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

Friday, December 28, 2018

St. John's Second Highest Rated School in Minnesota

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

Sorted by income, here are the top Minnesota schools:

Some interesting considerations:

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

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Pope Francis Finally Weighs In

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Liberty Safes of Chattanooga

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


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Christmas Reading from Matthew 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

A Pretty Good Christmas Ad

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

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

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Missing the Message

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Google Approves App For Muslims To Report People Who Commit Blasphemy

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

Here's a link to the app.

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

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sunday with Sam

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

Not this past Sunday.

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

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

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Puck Goes Off Ref's Nuts, Into Goal


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

That poor guy...

Friday, December 14, 2018

New Walleye Harvest Rules for Leech Lake

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

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

Not any more!

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

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

Get the net! 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

My DNA Update

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

After Pigfest, Vikes Fire OC

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or get executed.  Like their offensive coordinator did.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

US Life Expectancy Declines

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

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

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

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

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

Which means our future life expectancy will continue to fall.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Shale Changes Everything

America is the world's largest oil producer.

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

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Palessi Shoes

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Duck Recap from 2018 Season

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

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

Here are some other highlights for the 2018 season:

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

Monday, December 3, 2018

Connecting with the Boys

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

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

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

Sometimes math really sucks. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday Song Share: The Pixies - Bagboy

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