Small Town Problem

Living in a small town has many benefits, especially for a curmudgeon such as myself. Being in a rural setting brings a slower pace of life, empty roads on which to drive and a veneer of civil interaction with fellow citizens. We are friendly folk who are willing to help our neighbor and we like to live by the golden rule. Unfortunately, one aspect of human nature we can’t avoid in our bucolic setting are sex offenders.

To be sure, if you question any particular denizen of Smallville, USA, none of them know any rapists personally. Everyone they know is a good guy or gal who would never think of violating another human being in such a vile manner. However, chances are they either know someone personally who has been raped or someone who is a rapist. Or perhaps they are a predator or have been prey.

Those who know me know that I am pretty much a live and let live kind of guy. I have some strong opinions, but I don’t begrudge anyone else their opinions or beliefs. However, my libertarian streak stops with bullies. I really detest a bully, I have great disdain for anyone who takes advantage of others weaker than themselves. Rapists are the ultimate bullies. I hope God has a special corner of hell reserved for unrepentant sex offenders. Absolutely they are the worst piece of trash, sub-human in my opinion.

So, here is the reason for this serious post – Pierz has a rapist in its midst.

There is a man, in his 70’s who lives in the area who is a sexual predator. He violently raped a dear friend of mine and he got away with his crime. I have been asked not to identify him because it would be too difficult for the victim. However, this man still prowls the streets of the community. He still attends Mass in the local Catholic Church as if he doesn’t have this heinous sin on his soul. I know him; if you live in Pierz, chances are you know him also. In my opinion, he is simply a piece of shit.

If he sees himself in this post, he should first ask God’s forgiveness and then get some help. Also, he had better leave my friends alone or next time I won’t just use the printed word.

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10 Things that won’t matter when you are dead

“A wise man looks upon men as he does on horses; all their comparisons of title, wealth, and place, he considers but as harness.”  – Robert Cecil

1) The size of your house.

2) What awards your kid won at school.

3) How high the grass in your yard is

4) The size of your paycheck.

5) How many Twitter followers you have.

6) How fast you ran the 100.

7) What type of car you drove.

8) Whose team won the Super Bowl.

9) Where you went on vacation.

10) The size of your penis.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Living by comparison is great when you come out on top in the competition, but how does it feel when you come up short?

In the end, very little of what “the world” cares about matters. Caring too much about what others have, comparing yourself to everyone else is a useless waste of time and energy. Sooner or later, you are going to come up short… always.  Someone else is always going to be faster, richer, better looking, etc.

The anxiety, depression and anger generated by frustrating yourself in pursuit of these worthless comparisons can kill you.  Ask yourself, what do you want to be remembered for when you are dead and gone; that you took bitchin’ vacations and drove a cool car? Really?

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Two Days That Don’t Matter

 

There are two days in every week that one should never worry about; yesterday and tomorrow.calendar_0

Yesterday no longer matters because it is dead and gone. No matter how much one would like to go back and change yesterday, it is forever beyond one’s control.

Tomorrow, with its uncertainties, promise or possible adversities is nothing more than a blank slate. Indeed, tomorrow is not promised to anybody, it is only a possibility.

The only day that matters is today. The awesome thing about today is that it is here, now, and one can actively do something about it. One can start a diet today, which if followed faithfully, will result in a much better tomorrow. However, that tomorrow will never come except for good decisions made during a continuing series of present moments. In order for any plan to work, one must keep in mind that the decisions made in the present will make themselves known only in the future. Each present moment, each decision, brings with it the possibility of bringing us towards the future that we envision or one which we will regret.

I have run 3 marathons in my life. Each one took 6 months training to complete. 5 times a week, I had to make the daily decision to run either 4 miles or 6 miles or 8 miles that day. Once a week, I had to decide to run more than 12 miles on my “long” day. The daily decisions over  months allowed me to run 26.2 miles and complete one of the best experiences of my life. The funny thing is, I remember more about the daily training than I do about the race.

What are positive steps are you going to take today to make your tomorrow a better day than yesterday? What vision of the future are you going to start creating today? What decisions can you make now? Good Luck!

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Sex, Lies & Politicians

Al Franken

Al Franken today is a US Senator. Recent events have shown him to also be a venal, obnoxious and profane pig. For those who have been paying attention for the past 40 years, we’ve known he has always has been a venal, obnoxious and profane pig.

If one watched the trash he spread on Saturday Night Live masquerading as comedy or read any of the obscene character assassination books he wrote, one would have known he only saw other people as objects for his self-promotion. Is it any wonder then that he also saw women only as objects for abuse and ridicule sexually? Now that he has been exposed, will he suffer consequence for his attitudes and actions?

Having no observable conscience or character, he has refused to step down from his seat of power; this is not a surprise. Why would we expect any different from such a man? No, he will hang on in the Senate, hoping something else come along to take the spotlight off of his misdeeds. He knows that the attention spans of today’s internet addicted news consumers are less than 24 hours in most cases – a week at most. He also knows that by the time he stands for election again in 2020, this will all be a distant memory in the minds of Minnesota voters. Those same voters who vaulted a venal, obnoxious pig into the US Senate in the first place.

Way to go Minnesota. I hope Al Franken is making you proud.

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Stuck in Traffic

Every morning I watch the Twin Cities news for weather, sports and to keep up on the latest social atrocities occurring in Minnesota’s Twin Hellholes. Once I am given the weather forecast, I next get the morning traffic report. I watch in a mixture of amusement and horror as the dimpled traffic reporter details the latest backups, along with video of people sitting in their daily interstate parking lot. My consistent thought is: What is wrong with you people? Country Road

 

There is life without traffic jams. There are jobs to be had and houses to be bought and lives to be lived out here in God’s country. Don’t spend your life stuck in traffic.

 

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I’ve had enough of Amazon

I’ve experienced a personal tragedy. My Amazon Prime membership ended today. I’ll get over it of course, but according to Amazon, I have become an apostate. I’ve opted out of the matrix, I’ve refused to be assumed into the BORG. I’ve made my first moves towards disengaging from the Brave New World into which Amazon, Google, Facebook and all the other on-line entities are attempting to move me.

I no longer wish to enrich Jeff Bezos and support his campaign to control every aspect of my life. I no longer wish to enable Amazon. I’ve decided to resist.

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A Different Type of Search Result

I received a marvelous real-life lesson in engaging an audience this past week and I received it right here in my own backyard. My city, Pierz, Minnesota has an annual festival every year called Oktoberfest. It is a nice little end-of-the-summer touchstone for residents, relatives and tourists, celebrated on the last weekend of August. (Yes. Oktoberfest comes in August in Minnesota).

In addition to a parade, music and an afternoon of fun activities (including a beer garden) on Sunday, there is a week of events leading up to the weekend, one of which is the Oktoberfest Button Hunt.

This insidious little contest is comprised of having one of the Oktoberfest Poobahs hiding a specially marked Oktobefest button somewhere in the City of Pierz. Clues are given to the whereabouts of said button each day throughout the week. The rules are simple; the specially marked button is hidden on public property, no climbing to reach it, not near the river or on the golf course. In other words, don’t be an idiot, be respectful of private property and stay safe.

I am usually very successful at not being drawn into this little drama. Each year, I pay scant attention to the clues issued daily and I give only a cursory look around my neighborhood. The button is usually found by Wednesday or Thursday of the week and life can get back to normal. However, this year was an exception.

This year, my 11 year old son really got involved in the search. I was drawn into the search by doing my best to interpret the clues and giving suggestions as to where the treasure could be found. (Button worth $500.00 in “Pierz Bucks”.) The week wore on and as no one was able to find the button, I began to get further involved. Thursday morning at 6:00 AM found me on the local website (www.mcrecord.com) publishing the fresh clue for the day. I was drawn in.

The local populace was drawn in also. I stopped on my Thursday morning jog at  the local football field at 6:30 AM, convinced that I had figured out the hiding place. I was somewhat crestfallen to find three cars parked in the same spot, I had been beaten to the prize! There were 6 other hunters with the same interpretation of the clues. However, no luck. Friday morning’s clue brought no insights and by Friday night, no prize had been found. The stake were raised, as Saturday was the final day of the search and that morning’s clue would surely reveal the hiding spot.

Saturday morning at 5:55 AM, I was right there, at my computer screen, waiting for the fateful hint. By 6:00:15, I knew the final clue. It had  practically drawn a map to where the button was hidden – it was less than a block away from my house! I hit the front door at a sprint and was looking in the designated location within a minute. Already, there was a person there before me, frantically searching. Within 15 minutes, there were over 50 people raking through the grass, combing through trash and climbing all over the area.

Let me pause to emphasize that fact. Within 15 minutes, there were 50 people searching through an alley at 6:15 AM on a Saturday morning! This in a city with a population of about 1000 people. 50 people searching in the dark, in 40 degree weather, totally energized. Anti-climatically, the button was found within 15 feet of where I was searching.

The marketing message in this example is profound.

This example demonstrated that the right contest can still cut through clutter, busy schedules and the inertia of modern life. The people reached by this little contest reached across all demographics. The lesson to be taken from this example is that the properly constructed promotion can energize and mobilize any audience. The recipe to create a memorable event for your company is; have some fun, be creative and inject some competition into the mix. Want some ideas on how to do that? Give me a call or click here.

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