The thoughts of a writer.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stay on Your Side of the Line!

When I was a kid, there were no such things as child restraints in cars. We had an imaginary line down the center of the back seat of the car though. If I crossed it, my brother punched me in the arm. If he crossed it, he was 5 years older than me so I just screamed. I stayed on my side until enough arm punching removed all feeling and therefore all pain from my arm. Then I crossed it again. Then my brother found a new place to hit me and it hurt again. So I stayed on my side.

I think we can all learn something from this story; but I don't know what that something is.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

If Guns Make You Safer...

... then the United States would be the safest place to live.


Water Found on Mars!

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Trump Tax Plan

So if Donald Trump wants to cut taxes for the poor and the rich, doesn't that mean the middle class will end up paying even more than they already do? I mean, doesn't the middle class pay more than their share already?

To be fair, when I heard Trump on the news last evening, I thought he said he wanted to cut taxes for the middle class too.

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Short Pants Season Ends Later than Normal!

Though it started late, short pants season ran 18 days later than last year! If you look in my archives, it ended September 10th in 2014 and this year I converted to long pants just today.


Blood Moon

Raptor Release

On Saturday, the Raptor Center released six birds at the Carpenter Nature Center. The weather was outstanding and the day was very fun. We also visited the orchard to buy some self-picked apples!

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Friday, September 25, 2015


The idea for Flozilla came because of Filezilla...

Oh no, they say she's got to go go go Flozilla!

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Watch For Buses on Shoulder

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Thursday, September 24, 2015


STOP Running in Front of Cars!

I have noticed since the days are shorter and it gets dark for longer, that there are numerous people in my neighborhood who like to run across the street in front of cars in the dark! Don't they know that their lives matter? This morning, in the dark, in the rain, a guy ran in front of my car just blocks from home—I think he was trying to catch the bus that was behind me. I only managed to see him at the last second and slammed on my brakes; in the rain, and he got to the other side without being killed... The image was like I remember from driver's training long ago in the simulator—when a person would appear out of nowhere in front of you! If I hadn't reacted as quickly as I did, this guy may have missed the bus permanently.

Stop running in front of cars—especially in the dark!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Adrian Peterson Still Good at Fumbling

The announcers like to talk about how strong Adrian Peterson's grip is when he shakes hands. But somehow, that doesn't seem to apply when he is carrying the football. I can see losing the ball once maybe; but three times in one game? But then, he's only making $14 Million per year to run with a ball (and try not to drop it).

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Wild Rice Festival

We had fun at the Wild Rice Festival on Saturday.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Racial Comparison Lacks Depth of Scope

A recent report about the income of Black Minnesotans going down in one year's time does not address the bigger picture and so places the blame for this (presumably) on racism and inequality. Such a short-sighted view is destructive not only to racial harmony, but also to the African-American community—who is led to believe that they are not required to take any responsibility for their own situation.
First of all, we should consider that the Black population in Minnesota is growing rapidly! Many of these new comers are immigrants from Somalia (and elsewhere in Africa) and others leaving places like Chicago and Indiana. These are not, in general, affluent people. In fact, the opportunities in Minnesota are the reason they are coming to the state—unless you choose to believe that people from Africa enjoy the subzero winter temperatures.
Also missing from the report is the number of single-parent families represented in this data. Having worked in both social services and in education during my varied career, I still believe that parenting and attitudes play a much larger role in the success of children than the color of their skin. While working at a Jr. high, I recall an African-American student who hung around with a group of white students because the other black students did not appreciate his enthusiasm for studying and doing well in school as well as the white students did. So like the recent report about black income going down, the continuous reports about the racial achievement gap are likewise not considering the reasons for the gap beyond placing the blame on a presumably racist education system. One thing that could be done, is to figure out why if you remove white students from the reports, that Asian students are outperforming other students of color. As my extended family includes Asians, I can appreciate their dedication to family and children. I still believe that strong families are crucial to directing young people away from gangs and criminal activity—and pointing them toward academic success and ultimately good jobs and increased incomes.
If you prefer to continue on the same course, where people point at others from another group and say "it's your fault," then you will likely read this as a racist commentary instead of an attempt to help people to see beyond the short-sighted views that continue to prevent young people from getting the chance to live better lives.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Oil Changes

Dang right I'm going to get my car one of those Pumpkin Spice Oil Changes!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chair Rental

I was out walking when I saw this sign. I had to stop and think about it. I could have been tired and then renting a chair might be a good thing. But what if I wanted to sit for a long time? Then owning the chair I sat on might make better financial sense! But I certainly didn't want to walk around carrying my chair, so maybe rental was a good option. Finally I walked away because I really wasn't very tired and didn't need to sit down.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Vikings Consistent: Still Able to Suck

I've followed the Minnesota Vikings for years and I have never seen a more consistent team anywhere! In spite of different coaches, different owners, different players and different stadiums, the Vikings football team has been able to rise up and suck at any time and in any place. In fact, the team can suck at will! Last evening I wanted to watch the game, but with a 9:20 PM start time I did not. This morning I learned that they had lost 20-3 to the 49er's. I was not surprised. I was also glad I hadn't stayed up to watch. But I will say, Go Vikings!

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Monday, September 14, 2015

To the Angry Drivers

To all of those angry drivers who are prone to road rage; the people who honk at me if I try to obey the speed limit or signal to turn. To the guy who pulled his gun out and was waving it while chasing my car. To all of those people who can't seem to remain calm while they are enclosed in a vehicle.

Sometimes my kid is with me. Some people have disabilities. Some people follow the rules. If this makes you want to kill someone while you are driving, maybe you need to get some help to address your anger issues.


Friday, September 11, 2015

9-1-1 Fourteen Years Later


Everyone's Dad Looked Like Harold

When I was a young kid, Brylcreem was popular, no one wore contact lenses and everyone's dad looked a lot like Harold from the Red Green Show.


Thursday, September 10, 2015


Today I would like to talk about Booyah. It seems that especially this time of the year, fire departments everywhere are advertising booyah. They sell this for a fundraiser—presumably for charity or to buy more equipment, etc.

That is a good thing; but what strikes me as interesting is how much everyone talks about how great this giant vat of soup (or stew) is! Is it really? Is it possible that only firefighters are capable of making outstanding soup; as opposed to when for instance, I make a much smaller version of homemade soup for my family? Granted, my soup will take no longer than a few hours (rather than days) to cook and it will have less grease that needs to be continuously stirred to prevent it from settling on the top in a large oil slick—but still, as good as that all sounds, does it really taste that good??? Perhaps I will have to try some; but so far I have not been convinced that it is worth it—at least from the culinary standpoint.


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Even Though the Data Isn't There

Even though “they” insist that the problem is in our system and not theirs, and even though they want the data to be in our system, it isn’t there if they don’t have it in their system first. The data warehouse cannot “create” the data out of nothingness and only “regurgitates” what has been fed to it. In spite of that, it is always good (for “them”) to “throw it over the fence” instead of checking on their own system first. And if I ask for an example of what isn’t showing, it is always good to avoid supplying the sample for 4 or 5 emails and then act like “they” didn’t know I needed an example before wading through miles and miles of raw data to find their stuff isn’t anywhere in it at all.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

What was I doing at 3?

Click photo to enlarge: Click "back" to go back

I surrendered my laptop to my 3-year-old son yesterday. I was trying to do some writing and he insisted on sitting on my lap and reading the words to me.

So I opened a new document and let him play. Five minutes later I saw this.

I'm pretty sure when I was 3 I was pushing toy trucks through my sandbox.

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Friday, September 04, 2015


If you think that children's lives matter, go ahead and leave a comment below.


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Speed Trap at Maryland Avenue and 35E in St. Paul

There is a Speed Trap at Maryland Avenue and 35E in St. Paul, Minnesota. As shown in my photo, this is a major road and should be at least 35 MPH. Yet behind that jumble of tree branches on the right, there is a sign that says 30 MPH. As multiple police squads will wait here to trap motorists (instead of fighting real crime), clearly this is a way for St. Paul to rape the public and collect $126 fines in excess. Having driven this section a lot and also knowing someone who recently got a ticket here (for driving 35 MPH in a 30 MPH), contested it (using this and other photos) and lost, I will tell you this stretch of road is a hazard to your bank account and St. Paul should cease such unethical practices.

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Aylan Kurdi

This is tragic and unacceptable

When Aylan Kurdi washed up dead on a Turkish beach, the image surely affected us all. This should never be allowed to ever happen again. Children depend on us adults to protect them and we have failed.

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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Is Black Lives Matter Losing Support?

It seems like maybe Black Lives Matter (at least here in Minnesota) is losing some support. The expected number of protesters for the Minnesota State Fair (disruption) protest was about 1000 and then turned out to be only "300 to 400." Then the rally at the governor's mansion the other day boasted "a couple dozen" protesters. This is very surprising when the BLM message has been so clear, concise and fueled by authenticated facts. That combined with the leader of Black Lives Matter Minnesota, Rashad Anthony Turner being so so clear, concise and fueled by authenticated facts, I would have expected thousands more at each protest.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Latest Shooting

The Latest Shooting
UnAssociated Press
September 1, 2015

Police shot an unarmed black man today while they were being shot at by another man while a third man shot video of it on his cell phone. After the shooting took place, protesters gathered in solidarity—until shooting erupted and ended up dispersing the group. Shots rang out as police searched for the shooters and more cell phone videos were shot— allowing us to see that another man was holding his hands in the air while he too was shot.

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ISIS Destroying Ancient Stuff

So why is ISIS destroying ancient stuff? Because they have no respect for life, property, religion, education, people, morals, truth, justice or good. Basically, it is out of ignorance, cruelty and misguided notions and can only lead to death and destruction. ISIS may have just destroyed an ancient temple, but we still know it existed and have records of it so they have not won. They have only reinforced the fact that whoever you are and whatever race, ethnicity, or religion you are, they are dangerous and should be eliminated, except for an historical footnote.