Friday, March 24, 2023

The Friday Link for 3/24/23

This week we start with the return of Ted Lasso, a show I have become addicted to.  But a lot of us have. 

Season three kicked off and here's a clip with Jason Sudeikis displaying his banter with the press corp of the fictional soccer team he coaches.  I feel the way these scenes have been written over the seasons has been a great example of why this show is loved.  Ted disarms the reporters who are there to make him look bad, turning them into a loyal group of followers. You can't help but cheer him on.

Also tonight from Ted Lasso is the actor Brett Goldstein, who plays the near-perfect Roy Kent. His character on the show is an extremely rough and aggressive soccer player, but it has resonated as he has gone on his own journey through the series.

No Roy tonight at Brett joined Elmo and Grover on Sesame Street for games.  This is smile-inducing. 

Finally tonight, away from Ted Lasso, is a restoration video of a long-lost machine, the egg scale.  This is actually a really cool invention and when it is restored it's so cool I want to get chickens and try it out myself. It really becomes a centerpiece conversation starter. 

Have a great weekend everyone and make sure to get vaccinated! 

We're all safer when we are all safer! 

Friday, March 17, 2023

The Friday link for 3/17/23

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! 

This week has to be short and sweet as I have places to be tonight so we start off with what ended up being a pretty good opening monologue and a pretty good overall broadcast of the Oscar Awards last Sunday.  I think pretty much everyone who should've won, won.  Jimmy Kimmel, realizing he had to right the ship after last year's debacle with Will Smith, did so perfectly by setting the right tone.  He didn't ignore what happened but successfully moved past it by recognizing the scandal.  Just watch for yourself and see Andrew Garfield steal the show with one fantastic look.

Also tonight another awards show, this time with ZeFrank and the True Facts crew.  

And finally a pretty good skit from SNL.  If you want a realistic portrayal of something, look no further than the spot on Waffle House skit. 

Like I said short and sweet!

Have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day celebration and please do not drink and drive.  There are way too many options for a safe commute. 

Make sure you're vaccinated and have a great weekend! 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Calling the Hater's Bluff

Yesterday I did something I did not think would be controversial.  I posted this picture:

For people not from Minneapolis/St. Paul, that is the stunning mural of Bob Dylan painted by the fantastic Brazilian street artist Eduardo Korba.  It's located on the east side of Hennepin Avenue at S. 5th St. in downtown.  I took that photo while waiting for a traffic light as I drove home from the Guthrie Theater after a performance Saturday afternoon.  I labeled the picture "my city is cool" on social media.

Most of the response to this image was positive, but this morning I've had a few Far Right nut bags belch out the same ignorant talking points from last Fall's election season which did not resonate with voters. They bellowed about how everyone in Minneapolis is robbed and carjacked, how you can't roam the streets without being murdered, that the crime rate is so bad the city is far less safe than an occupied Russian town in Ukraine, and (laughably) how the downtown is 'So Much Worse' than it's ever been. WOW!

Let's put aside the pathetic nature of these insults.  The Right banked on bad-mouthing the Twin Cities as their path to victory in the 2022 elections, and it spectacularly backfired.  The Democrats now control all of the branches of Minnesota government and all the Right can do is rage hate the Left.  This rehashing of these failed talking points today is like an aged washed-up former high school quarterback who keeps talking about how "if the refs wouldn't have screwed us over we would've won the game!"  You lost.  Your hate mantras of the metro did not help, nor were they true.  That bad game plan is on you.  You trying to make "fetch" happen sounds more and more pathetic with each passing day.

By the way Idiots, don't ask why Republicans can't win in a city when all you do is constantly insult that city.

Now I could spend this blog post counterpointing the crime issue in Minneapolis/St. Paul, how violent crime is actually down in Minneapolis (, how statistically Minneapolis is far safer than its size as the 16th largest metro area in the US, coming in at #36 (, and if you actually count all the cases of caused mortality, not only is Minneapolis/St. Paul the 14th safest city in the US, but it shows you how rural counties across America are FAR less safe than MSP (  I could, but let's be honest, the Rightos won't read these stats because God forbid anything actually correct the narrative they want to believe.

I know many of the people bashing the Twin Cities are sad pathetic douches, who live either in outstate Minnesota or elsewhere, who have never even been to Minneapolis, pathetic losers who are desperate to prevent from having to see what a freaking tragedy their own lives are, so they attack others in hope their inadequate miserable cold existences actually get some false warmth by being twisted and demented.  I don't care about those losers.  Just forget those people.  It's easy! 

This blog post is going to ask a simple question of the Right Wing haters who live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul's metro area but yet constantly attack it: Why the hell are you living here?

Seriously! This a legit question.  Why, if you live in the metro area and can't stop bashing the city, do you live here?  Costs alone make living here difficult so you'd better like it.  If you stay and really hate it here, you're an idiot.  Let's expose the truth about these pathetic losers.

We all have one trip on this spinning rock.  It makes NO SENSE to be miserable while you are here.  Your entire life should be a search for what makes you happy.  Find the person you want to love, work the job that makes you smile, and live someplace which makes you happy.  Yes, I'm going to take a few shots here, but the truth is if you truly hate it here, I'm only trying to help.

Most likely they'll first say "My job makes me stay!"  No, it doesn't!  It really doesn't, unless you are something really specific, like the Twins mascot.  You can leave at any point and find work elsewhere.  Marketing, accounting, legal, plumbing, grocery store worker, and corporate executive; these jobs exist everywhere.  With your experience, you'll likely get hired quickly in another location.  And if you are like a lot of people who work remotely, you can work from anywhere!  If you really hate it here, your work is not a legit reason to stay.

This goes for business owners too, whether running a large company, small business, restaurant, or stand-alone shop. You can move your company at any time and relocate elsewhere, probably with major tax incentives and, if you go to a Republican state, they'll likely let you pay your workers peanuts.  Go! 

Next, you might say family is the reason you stay here.  This is a mixed bag.  If it's for kids and their school or sports, once again that is a weak answer.  There are schools in other states.  There are sports teams in other states.  Your kids will be fine if you move.  Do you think your kids are having a good time when every time they come home their parents are bitching about the community they live in?  You are probably doing more damage than good staying here.

If you are staying here because of the health reasons of a loved one (elderly or not), that gets a little more complicated.  For clarification,  I'm not talking about people who say they have to stay for a parent when they really don't.  Your parents will be fine without you, stop using them to hide YOUR fear of moving.

If you do have a parent who legit needs family here for medical reasons (it is Minnesota) I would suggest moving away from the city and living out in the country.  That way you can at least avoid the areas you really hate.  Even with health care needs, you never have to come to Minneapolis if you don't want to.

How about a weird reason? I know a lot of people who say they can't leave because the metro area has so many fun things to do, fun things they never once have done.  They convince themselves the quality of activities in Minneapolis St. Paul (a self-contradictory reason) is too much to leave.  Let's not talk about theoretical things you might do.  If you never go to them, you're only using the metro's incredible calendar as a false crutch.  If all you do is go to chain restaurants in the tertiary suburbs, fearing to go anywhere inside the 494/694 loop, you'd be just as happy in another place.  If you're bashing the city, don't be a hypocrite by using its truly stunning activities as your excuse to not leave.  

House? You can sell it.  Favorite sports team plays here?  You are supposedly too terrified to go to a game and can always follow them nationwide with a sports package on your TV.  Do you have a good friend who lives here?  You can still have them and make new ones in your new town too!  The vast majority of reasons you'll produce to try to validate your staying are just garbage.  You're a fool if you think you can't leave tomorrow.

GO! You'll be happier and we won't miss you!  Or are you too lazy?  Could be you're just a lazy ass.

But let's be honest.  It's more likely you are lying, and you know it.  It's how you try to make your sad life tolerable.  You KNOW Minneapolis St. Paul is not nearly as dangerous as you insist. You know the city is amazing, with plenty to do, great restaurants, and beautiful parks. You know the quality of life here is much better than in other places.  You know the schools in the metro area are better than most other states, and even if you don't like yours, you can open enroll, home school, or go to private schools if you don't like your local one.  You know the pay here is good. You know the medical care here is good.  You know the people here are good.  You know ALL OF THIS and you still choose to be an evil jackass who hates just for hate's sake.  You're a bad person and you probably should leave anyway.  Go see if you can redeem yourself. 

If you insist I'm wrong, that you really hate it here, then call my bluff.  LEAVE, and go be happy elsewhere!  I will applaud your decision and wish you the best.  Like I said, you got one trip on this spinning rock so don't waste it.  Go be happy!

If not, and I called you out correctly, just shut up!  Your bellowing didn't work in 2022, and it sure as hell will not work on the people who love Minneapolis/St. Paul!

I will stand by my original statement:  My city is cool! 

Friday, March 10, 2023

The Friday Link for 3/10/23

Today is a good day!  I was told I could finally stop wearing the back brace which has been glued to me for the last three months.  Healing is wonderful! 

This week a bevy of food options for you, starting with the Anti-Chef.  

Anti-Chef is great.  Jamie might be a professional cook (I'm not sure of his complete background) but he sure has an unorthodox style to his cooking technique.  It's not polished or clean.  He rummages around his kitchen looking for the utensils he needs, he cooks in a very relatable small apartment kitchen, and (best of all) he makes mistakes.  He's not afraid to admit when he does and that's what I like about him.  He's most of us cooking, imperfect, but yet successful.  With his determination, he plugs through and recreates great Julia Child recipes, many of which look delicious.

This one in particular looks AMAZING! Cinnamon toast flan with a strawberry topping.  I will make this one myself in the next few weeks.

Also this week another edition of Tasting History with Max Miller. This time he tackles a dish many of us from the Iron Rage savor, the pasty. Pasty bakes were an annual tradition in my house and I just recently had a discussion with Minnesota musician Paul Metsa about who had the best pasties on the Range (It's Paul's in Eveleth). 

This pasty looks very different from the ones we have, but then again it is a recipe from the age of Robin Hood. 

Finally tonight, another video about food, but not a cooking video.  Robert Reich puts out the warning about a massive merger about to happen in the grocery sector, and how it will eventually lead to much higher prices for all of us. 

I especially like him pointing out something I've said for about a year:  It's not Inflation.  It's plain old fashion Greed!

I'll let you know how the Cinnamon Toast flan turns out.

Have a great weekend and remember to keep up to date on your vaccinations!

Friday, March 3, 2023

The Friday Link for 3/3/23

Hi all!  

This week I have an absolute gem from Jon Stewart.  He absolutely dismantles OK State Senator Nathan Dahm for his blind allegiance to guns.  Stewart expertly works him into a corner.  As Dahm tries to insist the individual is the problem, not the gun, so putting more guns out into society is the best option, Stewart (BRILLIANTLY!) points out that's like trying to cure obesity by giving everyone ice cream. 

I don't do it justice.  Watch Stewart do what he does best, point out the Right's ridiculous hypocrisy. 

Also tonight a clip with Al Franken.

I was listening to the David Spade episode of SmartLess and he brought up the worst Saturday Night Live host of all time, Steven Seagal. The episode is the stuff of legends, but not in any good way.  As a matter of fact, it's way beyond "so bad it's good" territory.  Seagal was basically Trump before Trump, a deranged person who somehow managed to become a celebrity.  

I'll let Franken take it from here.  This is from an interview he did with comedian Tom Segura on a show (podcast?) Your Mom's House. 

Have a great weekend.  Enjoy the melting.

Make sure you get vaccinated and stay safe! 

Friday, February 24, 2023

The Friday Link for 2/24/23

Hey all!

This week we start off with The trailer for the upcoming Oscars broadcast with Jimmy Kimmel.  Kimmel does a good job, and I imagine will bring the laughs. I will say, them suggesting Steve Harvey...THAT would be incredible, but I won't miss Kimmel either. 

Next up this week is a fantastic little short horror film called 'Laboratory Conditions.' ALTER has a pretty big collection of short horror films on YouTube, but it is a bit of a mixed bag.  Some are really good, but some miss.  I think what makes this film very enjoyable is the acting of Marisa Tomei and (the forever on my top 5 list) Minnie Driver. The rest of the cast does well and it ends up giving the viewer a believable plot and a good scare too. 

Finally tonight, is 'R' a vowel?  I know that might seem to be a very strange question, but it's not nearly as cut and dry as it sounds.  'R' does follow all the rules of vowels in some languages.  And this video will help you explain the Boston, New York, and Southern accents a little. Dr. Erica Brozovsky at 'Otherewords' takes it from here:  

Have a great weekend! Please make sure you keep up to date on your vaccines.  And since I get to go see the University of Minnesota men's hockey team this weekend, let me also add "Go Gophers!"

Friday, February 17, 2023

The Friday Link for 2/17/23

Howdy all.

First off, let's start with a palate cleanser from The Dodo.  These are very cute foxes. 

Also tonight is the podcast SmartLess.  My friend Chuck told me a year ago to start listening to it, and with me now having to walk a few miles every day, I finally started.

The podcast is a side project the actors Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett started two and a half years ago to get through the pandemic.  The premise is simple; one of the three finds a guest, the other two do not know who it is, and they have a conversation. I've listened to about 40 of the episodes so far.  Not all of them hit the target, but most of them are a riot. 

My favorite part is hearing the three hosts bring up the entertainment industry to the guest and talk about it in terms that come across more like a factory gig than the sunny side of Hollywood.  The Robert Downey Jr., Ron Howard, and Bryan Cranston episodes are great on that.  

But the show has really gotten a lot of guests far bigger than just Hollywood talk.  President Biden, Paul McCartney, Bono, and Stephen Spielberg have all been guests.  Jason, Sean, and Will get them to open up and talk very openly about their lives and careers. It's good listening.

The George Clooney and Stephen Colbert episodes have moments where I was laughing uncontrollably.

There really isn't a video portion to this podcast, but I am going to post the Tom Hanks interview.  He also is very interesting when he talks about the inner workings of Hollywood, but it's also Tom Hanks, who seems like one of the most approachable and level-headed people to ever come out of Hollywood.  Enjoy.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Get vaccinated and stay safe! 

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Friday Link for 2/10/23

It is Super Bowl Weekend and the Friday Link starts off with a pretty comprehensive video montage of the best of funny Super Bowl ads.  I'm not the biggest fan of the Tide one, but many of the others are really good, especially Terry Tate, Office Linebacker (I've mentioned that one before). 

I will also go to my grave insisting the funniest one of the last 20 years was Jason Bateman for Hyundai.

Also tonight the insanely funny Bad Lip Reading of the US House of Representatives. They get so much right here. The Roll Call scenes are spectacular! 

That's it this week!  Please get vaccinated and be careful in large crowds.  Have a great weekend everyone! 

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Friday Link for 2/3/23

Hi everyone.  I hope you've had a good week.

With Trump announcing he's running in 2024, he hit the road for a get-together in South Carolina.  So did The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper, who went down to talk to the people attending the shindig.  

What's terrifying is how Trump's supporters have made a completely fake reality to offset narratives they dislike, truths they want to dismiss, and facts that any sane person would not question.  This is disturbing to watch as these people believe the insanity coming from their mouths. 

WOW! Speaking of infections, The Last of Us!  If you have not caught the exceptional HBO adaption of the video game, where fungus evolves to take over humans like they currently do with some insects, it is stark! But it is also so well done.

The Zombie genre has been tapped out.  I remember how good the first few seasons of Walking Dead were, chaotic story lines, surprise character deaths, and a real fatalism conveyed to the viewer that this was the end times indeed, but the entire genre went off the rails due to a lack of creativity and a substitution of jump scares for intelligent though process.

The Last of Us takes us to a new even more terrifying version of the Zombies, ones where the people only wish they were dead, where the remaining people seem to debate how they keep going. 

The next two videos are the opening scenes from the first two episodes of the series, acting as backstory to the eventual end.  Some of the images in the second one are a little rough, but it is a good series.

And finally, on a fun note! 

Ze Frank returns with a very funny True Facts about The Smartest Slime!  Warning, adult content! 

Have a wonderful weekend.  

Please make sure you're vaccinated! 

Friday, January 27, 2023

The Friday Link for 1/27/23

Tonight we go to Broadway! 

We start with what is a stunning dance and music number from Matilda The Musical.  The musical, based on the 1988 kid's book, has been around for little more than a decade, but it finally made it to the screen with Netflix.  It doesn't surprise me, as these streaming services have a need for constantly new content that they put forward. The good news is they didn't just mail this one in, as they put in the time and effort. 

The song 'Revolting Children' from the musical is very enjoyable, but the dancing they got these kids to do makes this a stunning scene. Unbelievable! These are some very hard dance routines for seasoned pros to pull off, but getting a bunch of kids to do it is bonkers.  Enjoy it! 

As long as I am bringing up Broadway dancing, Let's look also look at the beginning of two other Broadway dance-heavy musicals, All that Jazz and A Chorus Line.  Notice the similarities between these two opening scenes! 

Finally a laugh tonight from a few blocks north of Broadway.  The 92nd St. Y in New York hosts some pretty good interviews, but this one between Bill Hader and John Mulaney is great.  Very funny but with a few bad words.

Have a great weekend.  Please get vaccinated against COVID if you haven't already been.

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Friday link for 1/20/23

This week we remember the TV show NewsRadio.

For radio people, this show is liked, but it's well in the rearview mirror behind WKRP. WKRP was brilliant because whoever wrote it worked in radio and managed to create a perfect representation of everyone in the station (the underdog morning host, the eccentric night host, the plucky promotions person, the nebbish newsman, the composed PD, the sleazy salesman). I've said before; I worked with EVERYONE represented at WKRP.  It never ceases to amaze me how well they wrote those characters.

NewsRadio was very different. Instead of a radio station geared to a youth-centric music format, they embraced a more business-like news format. They managed to capture two solid comedic talents in Phil Hartman (fresh off his SNL run), and Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall (the counterculture SNL) for the two leads, found soon-to-be breakout stars (in the hilarious Stephen Root and the insanely versatile Maura Tierney), and...Andy Dick and Joe Rogan were there too.  To be fair to both of them, they were both pretty good on NewsRadio, prior to becoming a train wreck and, well, Joe Rogan. 

The show was very well written and in many episodes created a cast of characters where it was hard to root for any of them.  It captured the 90's dystopian viewpoint perfectly.

The NewsRadio episode I'm posting is the third episode of the series, 'Smoking.' This is also a great bit of historical comedy as TV sitcoms and dramas embraced what was a big part of American culture at the time, the removal of smoking from inside the workplace.  It is a bit of fun to see them grapple with it, realizing nearly 30 years later how foreign smoking in the office feels.

If you want absolute comedy gold, go to 11:28.  Watch Phil Hartman and Dave Foley at their best as Phil's Bill McNeil gives up smoking whole Dave's Dave gives up coffee.  Spectacular all-time scene.

Also tonight I am going to post a little something from Star Wars. I just finished watching Andor and I have to say how impressed I was with that show.  Although most of the newer movies haven't lived up to their hype (minus Rogue One), there have been some TV shows and other elements which have excelled.  

Take this trailer from Star Wars: The Old Republic.  This storyline takes place hundreds of years before the Star Wars movies. Frankly, how the heck didn't this get made into a movie. These six minutes are some of the best Star Wars action, period! 

Have a great weekend.  Please make sure you are vaccinated and rest up if you are feeling sick.  

Friday, January 13, 2023

The Friday Link for 1/13/23

Hi Everyone.

I'm still recovering from my broken back, delivered quite rudely by an alleged drunk driver on December 8th.  I'm still basking in the warmth of everyone who has wished me well.  I will heal, albeit, eventually.

I'm now walking a lot more.  I am able to go to the Edina Dome and walk in there on most weekdays. Outside of that, the name of the game is don't hurt yourself.  I'm pretty good at it but every once in a while I jump into bed the wrong way or lean down a little too deeply. Magic! I've quit the heavy-duty pain meds, so I just get to wallow in my pain. 

This week, enjoy a litany of videos I've used to get me through the slow times. None of these have anything to do with each other but I enjoyed every one.  

Well that's eclectic! 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Gratitude, The Friday Link for 12/23/22

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

In case you missed it, I was hurt badly when a drunk driver plowed into my car on December 8th.  He broke my back and did a substantial amount of damage to my car.  I had back surgery that weekend and have been on the mend ever since. 

This is hard.  Like many others, my family has been through many crises over the last few years. I nearly died of an undiagnosed kidney condition last year, and I ended up getting a hip replaced.  I've had a daughter who has torn both her ACLs in the last two years, with her second coming on Labor Day.  I've also had some other serious issues that have increased my family's overall stress levels.  

But even with the negatives, my family has had a lot of positives so far in 2022.  We had a wonderful trip to the National Parks of the west, my wife and I celebrated our anniversary in Colorado, and we managed to get an October trip to South Carolina to see my family.

Then, at 6:10 PM on December 8th, whatever plans I had disappeared.  I had a new reality thrust upon me and my family.

That Friday in the hospital was a dark day indeed.  It's the closest I've ever come to breaking.  Not only was I facing surgery and months of rehabilitation, not only was I facing the questions of how this would be covered as insurance has its limits, and not only was I twisting in regards to the endless stress and demands of the holidays, both professionally and personally, my biggest concern was my wife.  Her life just became a lot more stressful, not only worrying about her husband, but with a load of things that were just unceremoniously dumped on her, things which she had to cover even though her days were already hectic. 

She called the hospital Chaplin to come and visit.  The woman who showed up was the angel we needed.  Granted she was familiar with people in our exact situation having to come to grips with a dramatically shifting existence, so she knew how to approach us.  What she really did was break us of our Minnesota-ness.

Before she came into to talk with us, I was weathering an underlying storm.  My Minnesota nature was trying to take over.  The Minnesota nature is to tap down negative feelings and only try to focus on the positive, in my case a tiny spoonful of positivity which mainly consisted of being grateful it wasn't injured much worse.

We were (pathetically) rationalizing with ourselves about how the drunk was actually a nice guy for not fleeing the scene, and how maybe this situation was the low point from which this individual will begin to crawl out. The Chaplin's first comment to us was, 'you have a right to be angry, so do not shy away from being angry.  You have a right to be sad, so do not shy away from being sad.'  She was right, and like a dam giving way, the emotions flowed hard and steady for about an hour. 

I will always be grateful to this Chaplin for making us realize it was okay to embrace our negative emotions, as a way to grieve and cope. You have to at times embrace negativity to find the positivity on the other side.  The trick is to not stall out in the negative. 

It was soon afterward I realized my story had been picked up by one of the news outlets in town and I was inundated with well-wishes, prayers, and truly uplifting comments.  For everyone who reached out during this stretch, thank you so much. 

I am still angry and sad (and I will be for a long time) but I am also thankful, happy, blessed, and loved. You all put a smile on my face.  I will get through this.  I will recover, I will heal, and I hope to be a better person when this is all done. 

Another thing that got me through that hospital stay was revisiting a bit of classic comedy gold.  I hadn't really turned the TV on while I was there but in my post-surgical pain, I decided to see if there was something that could take my mind off of it.  The first channel I turned on was just beginning to air an all-time best Cheers episode(s), the two-parter Woody's Wedding.  This is so funny; go find it for yourself.  

Of course, it's not on YouTube, but some of the clips are.  Here are some of the scenes from the episode.  For me, the alcohol joke didn't resonate after my drunk driver incident, but it's still funny. 

Also tonight, The Late Show's annual Santa cartoon is pretty good, taking on Putin.  

I said this, and as corny as it sounds, I have found my Christmas spirit this year.  I wish it wasn't the hard way, but sometimes you have to go through the Andy Dufresne sewer line crawl to get to the positive on the other side.  

Be safe, stay home if you are sick, and remember to get vaccinated for the flu and for COVID.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 2, 2022

The Friday Link for 12/2/22

This week I have a laugh for you, a good one, and then a tour of the Antiques Roadshow.

I cried when I first viewed this clip.  Steve Carell talking about his early days on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, from this year's Mark Twain Prize.

For the record, I cried twice.  First, because it is insanely funny, and second because it becomes very touching in the end.

Also for you tonight a bevy of the latest moments from Antique Roadshow.  We'll start with a Bahne skateboard. This was basically the first modern incarnation of the skateboard you see today. I find it cool to see stuff like this because on one side I say "You mean the scratched-up board Steve Rademaker had in his basement on Haver Hill Ave. In Wickford, RI?" 

On the other, I do realize that was almost 50 years ago.  When I was in 1979, I'd look back and think 50 years earlier, 1929, was ancient. Today my kids look at a Bahne like I'd look at an old-style radio from the ye-ole days! 

Now, I might empty my bank accounts for an original Lance Mountain Board, but that's just me.

Two big hitters: some Chinese porcelain and a Tiffany Lamp.

How about the insane Goodwill find!

Some fun sports memorabilia!  I see Bert Blyleven! 

And finally, one of my all-time favorite clips, is a modern collectible that is shockingly expensive. The best part of the Magic cards reveal is the wife who clearly thinks she is about to burst her husband's bubble on the "collectibles" he has, only to realize he has basically set them up with a huge windfall.  Watch her face as the reveal goes on, trying to come to grips with what her husband has collected.

Have a great weekend!  Please get your flu shots, stay COVID vaccinated, and wear a mask in really crowded locations!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Friday Link for Saturday 11/26/22

Sorry I am late but it is Thanksgiving weekend and not only have I been cooking (including yesterday putting the turkey soup together) but I have all the kiddos home.  Priorities.

Short and Sweet this week.  Remember when the pandemic started and all sports stopped too?  Remember how I found Jelle's Marble Runs and their Olympic-like competition 'Marble League?'  They're still going at it and it is still one of the better sporting events around.  Not only is it incredibly well staged, but the competitions are also fun and I've actually started rooting for certain teams! Go Green Ducks (the host team this year.  Seriously this is not just some kids with marbles and legos in the backyard!), Team Galactic, and Gliding Glaciers!

I've also started to HATE certain teams.  I am looking at you O'rangers and Raspberry Racers!

Marble League 22 is here!  Enjoy the opening Ceremony, and three of this year's challenges.  Follow the channel on Youtube to get all the competition! 

A nurse friend told me there was a five-hour wait for Urgent Care on Friday.  Flu and COVID are still going around.  Be careful, get vaccinated, and stay safe.

Have a nice Thanksgiving weekend! 

Friday, November 18, 2022

The Friday Link for 11/18/22

Football.  As a Minnesota Vikings fan, it's not an easy subject. 

I've seen teams that were destined for Super Bowl glory sputter and fail.  A few years back we had the Minnesota Miracle, an insane comeback win where the Vikings beat the New Orleans Saints on the last play of the game.  Everyone remembers that but not so much the next week when the Vikings got run off the field by the Philadelphia Eagles. 

This year the Vikings are good.  Early this year they started coming from behind to win games.  Initially, a lot of nay-sayers insisted it was a fault ("why are they always scrambling to come back?"). Then as it kept happening, the mentality changed to "Wow!  These guys are never out of it!"

There are certain football games that you will remember forever.  Last week's Vikings at the Buffalo Bills matchup was one of them.  That game was crazy, and like before, the Vikings came back from 17 points down early in the 3rd quarter.  There is a common trait among Championship teams; the ball always seems to bounce their way when it matters most.  Two insane catches, a fumble in the end zone, and an overtime clinching interception lead the Vikings to the win.

I don't usually include sports highlights as the Friday Link, but come on.  This game was memorable! (FYI, due to the NFL copyright rules, I can't link it.  Click on the link and watch the highlights on YouTube)

Another view of this game, this time from the radio play-by-play voice of Paul Allen.  He's the best voice play-by-play guy out there today.  I was so impressed with him when the Vikings were trying to figure out who was going to be the new play-by-play guy that I called the Vikings and told them they would be fools if they did not hire him.

I now know my doing so was WILDLY overstepping my bounds, but only two years earlier I had worked for the Iowas State station in Ames, Iowa.  I had worked there for three years and we had gotten a pretty good relationship with some of the high-level people, including coaches and the AD.  Because of that past experience, me calling the local sports team and offering a suggestion didn't seem like an overreach at that point.  Now I know better.

I was right though.  Paul Allen is great.  The video is inverted and it was a little weird, but here you go.

Finally, tonight is another insane ending to a game, this one a Thanksgiving game from 1993 where an insane play at the end of the game leads to a miracle win for Miami.  As I said, great games last a long time in people's memories.  The same thing with the other video, click through to see it. 

As far as the Vikings this year, it'll be deep in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, and the team will be up by 20 and then I MIGHT start thinking it's our year.  Don't blame me, blame the franchise!

Get your COVID shots, get your flu shots (that's picking up a lot!), and wear a mask in crowded buildings.

Have a great weekend everyone. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

The Friday Link for 11/11/22

To all those who served, a happy Veteran's Day to you.  

Some military themed videos this week, starting off with a nice one on the USS Yorktown.  I had the privilege of visiting this ship in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina almost a month ago. 

You can tour the entire ship and find out about the heavy battle these sailors and pilots went through.  There are a few of these WWII ships anchored in various harbors across the country.  If you get the chance, visit one.  You'll be amazed at what these people were able to pull off during the Battle of the Pacific.

Next up is a look at the Battle of Nashville in 1864.  What makes me mad about the south is how they have not preserved the battle sites where they lost.  Very little of the Battle of Nashville battle site remains undeveloped.  Most of it is long destroyed to shopping centers, houses, and industrial parks.

What does remain is Shy's Hill, where the Minnesota 5th, 7th, 9th, and 10th fought and died.  Although the Minnesota 1st's sacrifice at Gettysburg is the most remembered Minnesota moment in the Civil War, more Minnesotans died at the Battle of Nashville than at any other battle in the war.  Their sacrifice was not in vain as they contributed mightily to the victory at Nashville.  This battle was the end of the Confederate Army of the West and ended up being the final major battle in the Civil War.

There is a Minnesota memorial on that hill in Nashville. 

Finally tonight, a fun one.  My grandfather was in the Navy during WWII and he loved one specific element of it, chipped beef on toast.

Of course, it has a more colorful name, a name my grandfather had no problem using around me when I was 8.  It did not endear me to the meal.

Chipped beef on toast was a pretty good military meal.  Dried beef in a cream sauce over toast.  Protein, meat, and a heavy meal to hold the troops over.  Tasting History with Max Miller has decided to tackle Chipped Beef on Toast for Veteran's Day, and in honor of my Grandfather, I will make this recipe this upcoming week.

Have a great weekend everyone.  

Stay safe and please remember to get your COVID shots and your flu shots.

Friday, November 4, 2022

The Friday Link for 11/4/22

To start this week a little carryover from Halloween.  

I've watched 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' probably 25 times (I have kids) but I never knew Catherine O'Hara (a treasure) played Sally and Paul Reubens played Lock.  I went and looked at the rest of the cast when I found out.  I also never pieced together that Glenn Shadix, the phenomenal Otho in 'Beetlejuice,' played the Mayor.

I went on this search of discovery after I saw this video, with the original cast doing a sing-along.  It's wonderful, but the undeniable scene-stealer is Ken Page whose fantastic voice makes Oogie Boogie one of the better Disney villains.  Let me add the very funny Greg Proops plays Santa in this video, but in the movie he was better known as the sax player.  

Another video for this week (completely unrelated) is a look at this very cool EcoSystem this guy built in his home.  It's clear this guy knows a lot about the right plants and animals to put into this tank, and the results are amazing.  This tank would be something I would probably spend a lot of time watching myself, a jaw-dropping centerpiece to any home.

I bet it's a real pain to clean...

Finally tonight, we return to the Hydraulic Press Channel, the creative guys from Finland who sit around and crush things.  

Here are ten of their more surprising moments.  After watching this, I am not sure we should allow these guys to have that press.

With November here, it is the beginning of the rise of COVID cases.  Be safe by getting your vaccinations up to date and being careful around loved ones.  If you are feeling a little rough, it might be COVID.  Get tested and make sure no one vulnerable gets exposed. 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The Party of Biff

In a shocking attack, a man broke into the home of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the third most powerful person in American politics, and assaulted her husband Paul, seriously injuring him.  This deranged individual clearly had the intent to attack, kidnap and torture Speaker Pelosi herself.

And the Republicans laughed and laughed and laughed...

The attack came to light last Friday, and by Saturday morning my timelines on social media were filled with far-Right trolls, politicians, and pundits mocking the attack.  They made light of the serious injuries sustained by the husband of the Speaker, and they even started coming up with fantastical conspiracy theories, conspiracy theories not based on any reality outside of the Right's desire to never feel pity, sorrow, remorse, or compassion for a Democrat.

We have finally achieved Trump's true legacy.  The Republican Party, a party that claims to be Christian, has eagerly become a party of bully-worshipping, relishing in the horrific news that their opponents were hurt.

A few things give this massive shift in the Republican decency context. This was not celebrating the Democrats losing in a political battle, like the passage of a Republican bill or a Republican winning an election.  This was different.  This was relishing truly horrible news, a violent attack by a deranged person on an innocent victim.  This was gleeful applause and excited jubilation at the thought that the spouse of someone they politically disagreed with being physically hurt (as they continue to claim they embody Jesus' teachings).

This wasn't a celebration from the extreme lunatic fringe either.  Sure the QAnon, Proud Boy, and pro 1/6 Insurrection traitors all applauded, but so did a lot of so-called traditional politicians, celebrities, and talking heads.  The Governor of Virginia and the GOP candidate for governor in Arizona both made light of the attack and joked about it.  This is mainstream Republicans behind the high fives.

And the individual who attacked Paul Pelosi is exactly what sane people have been worried about.  Republicans have ratcheted up their rhetoric to dangerous levels, accusing the other side of trying to destroy America and take away 'hard working' Republicans' money, houses, and savings.  They constantly imply Democrats are trying to kill all Republican voters.  They CONSTANTLY accuse Democrats of trafficking children as sex slaves, trying to force a gay lifestyle on children, even going as far as outright accusing Democrats of killing babies to drink their blood in some sort of Satanic ritual.

Once again, these crazed rantings are not from the extreme fringe.  Mainstream Republicans have pushed these INSANE blabberings.  As they get more and more outrageous, people have expressed concern that individuals with compromised mental capacities would not only believe these preposterous remarks, but would act upon them.  This seems to be the case with Pelosi's attacker; a mentally compromised individual whose actions were fueled from deep within the Republican Conspiracy realm.

And yet, many Republicans think this attacker did nothing wrong, even begging for someone to bail the assailant out of jail.  Why?  Because many Republicans think nearly killing a family member of a Democrat isn't really a crime.

Republicans since the 1990s have slowly become bullies.  After Clinton was elected in 1992, they ran in 1994 with a more bully-like tone.  "We'll rein them in!  We'll make him do what we want! And they'll have to like it!"  In 2001, after terrorists attacked the country, in the hours afterwards, Republican talking heads hit every major news network as bullies personified, immediately accusing the Democrats of being behind the attack to deflect from their own negligence.  Then came Obama and the racist-fueled bullying, which started the GOP down the path to where they are today.  Trump was their ultimate manifestation, a pathetic narcissist whose entire persona was based on being the biggest bully around.  Because Trump was smart enough to target the longtime enemies of Republicans (African Americans, Latinos, women, the LGBTQ+, Native Americans), the principles which the 'Christian Right' hated (compassion, caring, welcoming, equality for all), and societal norms no one had ever dared challenge (truth, facts, and reality), his supporters loved him even more, spawning the ugliness we see today.

Republican candidates in 2022:

  • Still believe the 2020 election was fraudulent (it wasn't)
  • Believe millions of people vote illegally every election (they don't)
  • Insist you can use gumption and screaming to beat a pandemic (you can't) 
  • Claim COVID came from a lab in China (it didn't), but that the virus is a myth (it's not), that everyone actually died of ventilators and innoculations (that seems intentionally stupid), or were killed by Democratic commanded Black ops (...[stares in disbelief]...), to kill all the poor elderly people (is there a gas leak in your house?), elderly people who were too old anyway and should just die off (did you hit your head?)
  • Claim to be pro-Israel but openly are anti-Semitic to American Jews (wha...?)
  • Think the Founding Fathers wanted them to force THEIR version of Christianity on everyone (No.)
  • Have extolled the virtues of Hitler (yes, THAT Hitler)
  • Continually throw specific minority groups out as 'Them or Us' bait (particularly the African American and LGBTQ communities)
  • Have embraced the idea of a police state (many from their gated communities)
  • Insist that Black people had it better under slavery (Sweet Jesus NO!!!)
  • Have vowed to ensure Democrats are unable to win elections ever again (promising to throw out legitimate election results)
  • Insisted no woman ever needed an abortion (an insane belligerent lie)
  • Have threatened their opponents and their families with hatred fueled by lies (encouraging threats)
  • Have pushed conspiracy theories which have come from the most vile, extreme, disturbing, and anti-Christian dark corners of the world (trust me, do not go down that path)
  • Push the idea they will force everyone to do what they say, OR ELSE (!)
  • Feel the 1/6 Insurrections were doing nothing wrong when they assaulted the Capitol and those police officers, then insist the people really behind the attack were far leftist groups, then proudly give Trump credit for sending those people to the Capitol, then insist the people who tried to overthrow a legitimate election and the US Government itself were harmless pranksters (...sigh...)
  • Embrace fascism, whether its full bore evil dictator ruling ├╝ber alles, or some sore of 'Fascism Lite' which allows them to throw out only the elections results they don't like and then return to a normal existence (you'd never go back. They're dumb as bricks)
Now they're celebrating a violent attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband.  And the Republican voters love them for it.  Sickening.  It's politics according to Biff Tannen.

Republicans do not want Leadership.  They want a Bully.

I don't think Moderate Republicans are happy with this, but they are shockingly quiet, the kid who sees the bully tormenting the other kids in school.  They know the bully is wrong but they say nothing because they don't what the bully to make them a target.  There's another word for that; cowardice.

Bully Worshippers are what the Republican Party has become, and until they get voted out of office enmasse they'll continue to get worse and worse.  I only hope this doesn't end with a bodycount, but sadly I think many Republicans won't be satisfied until it does.

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Friday Link for 10/28/22

Ghostbusters was the last film I went and saw in the theater where I had no idea what the movie was about. 

I saw it at the old Knollwood Movie Theater (that was in the basement of the mall) on opening night, and I was with my friends Jeff and Steve.  I asked, "what's this movie about?"

"It's about ghosts."

"I don't want to watch a horror film."

"But Bill Murray is in it.  It's supposed to be funny."

"A funny ghost story?"

Of course, it was amazing.  I remember how the movie theater constantly laughed the entire movie, something I've only experienced once or twice since.  And the sound the audience made when the line "It's the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man" was delivered; I've never heard a louder laugh in my life.

First up the Hotel scene from the first movie.

And let me repost the scene from Ghostbusters II from the courthouse.

Finally tonight a hilarious bit from Stephen Colbert's The Late Show.  Meanwhile is always such fun, but the last story in this segment, about the guy from his writing staff and his take on the Swedish Cobra story, is just spectacular.  Watch and laugh.

Have a great weekend.  Happy Halloween and if you're not, please make sure you get vaccinated! 

Friday, October 21, 2022

The Friday Link for 10/21/22

As we get a little closer to Halloween, let's start focusing more on Halloween videos.

To start this week, let's talk about the neighbor who goes overboard on Halloween.  I love a good Halloween-decorated house, but that's not what I'm talking about.  It's the people who set up lights, computers, video, special effects, and even animatronics, all timed out to a 6-minute routine complete with a soundtrack.  This is also what happens with some houses at Christmas.  These displays cause massive neighborhood backups, not to mention enough noise and light pollution to cause every neighbor to curse their exuberant fellow resident under their breath. 

Now the decorations have kicked it up a notch. Drones!  I'll admit this is cool to look at, but if this was my neighbor, I'd sue them.

Enjoy this Halloween light display.  By the way, if you are wondering why Metallica is featured it's because the recent season of Stranger Things featured the song as a bit of a plot point. 

Also tonight we explore the actual history of how carving a pumpkin came about. There definitely seem to be some differing opinions (some of them not so politically correct) about the beginnings of Jack O'Lanterns.  The History Guy elaborates.

More Halloween fun next week!

Have a great weekend and remember to get vaccinated! 

Friday, October 14, 2022

The Friday Link for 10/14/22

Let's just call this week the triumphant return of Jon Stewart.  

I'm not sure what happened in the last few months to reinvigorate Jon Stewart, but he's been as sharp and politically astute as ever.  I remember when people were terrified of him, but still would go on The Daily Show during his tenure because it was so damn popular.  His takedown of New York Times enabler Judith Miller was amazing.  It left me asking what would've happened if he was ever able to 'no holds barred' confront the W. Bush Administration after the Iraq War.

I wonder if he finally came to the understanding that his comedic style and his relentless interviewing ability are best served in a show reminiscent of his Daily Show days, a format he's now embracing more with the Apple TV show The Problem With Jon Stewart.

See for yourself.  Watch his methodical takedown of a clearly outmatched Arkansas Attorney General. He annihilates the state's arguments to ban gender affirmation in the state.

Here's another fantastic clip where he destroys the Right's argument that more taxes lead to unhappy people. Stewart juxtaposes exuberant Europeans happy to pay their taxes with the US' low tax rates and near non-existent quality of life for most. 

Welcome back, sir! You've been sorely missed.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Remember to get vaccinated! 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

How the Democrats Win (Advice from the Town Fool)

Dear DFL,

It is me, Matt.  I know you think of me like that cousin who dropped out of college to join a prog band, performs Doctor Who cosplay, and screams at walls.  I'm flattered, but that's not me.

What I am is a needed element of a unified political front; the sledgehammer.  I'm the person who makes factual arguments with the passion and determination most Democrats can't.  I can be fire and judgment, the 'bad cop' to the party's 'good.'  That's how the GOP uses their media voices, and it works pretty dang good for them.

The Democrats don't use their media allies.  Over the years, I've felt a palatable reluctance to work with me.  I seem to be more of an annoying bee buzzing around your picnic, one you're not trying to kill, but rather one you're terrified of getting near you, hoping I just fly away.  Where the interaction between GOP party leaders and their media outlets is non-stop and well coordinated, my personal purgatory is the number of unreturned voice messages, emails, DM's, and texts begging for a DFL candidate to be my guest; free air time to promote their brand, something many DFL'ers don't seem to think is important.

But it's time to put that all aside.

I come to you today with a plea. You're screwing up, and screwing up badly.  The Minnesota Republican party is a dumpster fire of candidates, many of them with deranged and disturbing alliances, belligerent comments, and extremist associations; a vat of lies and loon ball conspiracy theories, a party with almost zero policy points, running on a campaign of fear, desperately trying to scare people into voting for them. 

And they're keeping these races close! 

But how?  Almost all the issues are on the DFL's side.  Republicans overturned Roe v. Wade, actually taking away rights from people nationally while the Minnesota GOP vowed to make access to abortion illegal in Minnesota.  Every plan of action they had during the pandemic was a train wreck, from the laughable (putting horse dewormer up their backsides) to the Machiavellian (scolding the Mayo Clinic, the best hospital on the planet, on how to hospital) to the mentally unstable (threatening to kill school board members and their families for mask mandates).  They have promised to go after workers' rights and unions.  They have vowed to gut the public education system.  They've promised to sell off Minnesota's pristine wilderness to the highest-bidding foreign mining conglomerate. They should have no chance, but they are holding on closer than they have any right to.

The problem the DFL has is two-fold.  First, you're not attacking. Too many people in the DFL have fallen in love with the argument "When they go low, we go high."  I do find it funny most of the people who rely on this narrative are Democrats from incredibly safe DFL districts.  It's easy to stay "high" when you have nothing to lose.  For the most part, I think the sentiment is fine, but the mistake Democrats make is they think going "high" is smugly staying silent, ignoring the attacks.  That's wrong.  If you're going to take this path you need to be promoting what the DFL does stand for, if not directly addressing the attacks being levied on you.  Going "high" is not being quiet, but rather LOUDLY counterpointing the "low."

The other problem is a harsh fact.  A lot of DFL candidates don't inspire voters.  Let me give you an example.  I've already done at least 20 interviews with DFL candidates in competitive districts who tell me first and foremost they're going to work with Republicans.  I understand their trying to establish a 'bipartisan compromise' tone, but what they really end up sounding like is "I'm a Democrat, and I'm on the Republican's side!"

Let me help.  Instead of "I promise to work with the other side"...

"I'm from the DFL.  I'm from the party of healthcare for all, women's rights, quality education, a fair tax system, safe streets, common sense gun regulations, supporting the farmer, clean energy, saving the environment, and helping all people.  Will I work with the Republicans to pass legislation?  Sure, but I will not sacrifice my principles for a quick, cheap victory!"


That's inspiring.  You not only tell people what YOU stand for, but you also hint you'll work with the other side as long as they drop their "my way or the highway" mentality.

The Minnesota DFL needs to, in unison, go on the attack now!  They supposedly have a massive money advantage, so use it.  TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, billboards, mailers; they're all good.  Most importantly you need to get on your social media pages and start calling out Republicans for the flawed candidates they are.  Social media is FREE, and something the Republicans are almost using exclusively to keep these races close.  Democrats need to get over their 'wishy-washy, milquetoast, I'd rather do a well-worded 70-page memo' arrogance and start attacking on the venues most of the voters reside in for hours each day.

Let me help:

Governor candidate Scott Jensen is a far-right extremist loon ball.  His stances on abortion, and COVID are the epitome of 'low hanging fruit.'  It's clear from his furry comments he and/or his inner circle is immersed in the far-right extremism of the web.  Plus his running mate is the living embodiment of the word 'Duh.'

Attorney General candidate Jim Schultz has close ties to an EXTREME anti-abortion organization, hasn't ever prosecuted a crime, or even spent a lot of time in a courtroom (while Keith Ellison has not lost a case as AG).  And Schultz needs to answer if he would've prosecuted the four officers who murdered George Floyd. 

State Auditor candidate Ryan Wilson seriously doesn't seem to understand what exactly the State Auditor does.  Most of the things he says he'll do if elected don't fall under the purview of the State Auditors' office.  There's the question of whether he'd push state retirement money away from clean energy investments and put it all into polluting fossil fuels.  He also has a penchant for making up outlandish exaggerated stories.

Secretary of State Candidate Kim Crockett is an absolute kook!  She's an election denier, who doesn't seem to have the slightest grasp on how Minnesota elections actually work.  She's repeatedly stated the 2022 election is happening on a different day than it actually is.  She has given mixed signals on whether she'll accept the results of the upcoming election, even though there's no reason to question the results in advance.  She's also made racist and bigoted comments, and played an anti-Semitic video at the GOP convention which was greeted with applause from the GOP audience.  It's a disgrace her race with Steve Simon, probably the best Secretary of State in the nation, is not a 20-point blowout.

There is also the official GOP platform they passed in May which shows how extremist they are:

And there's an amazing amount of Republican Minnesota Senate and House candidates who seem to be TERRIFIED of people finding out they're Republican candidates.  Call them out for "trying to be me!"

DFL, this is an easy layup, if you don't overthink it.

You've got one month.  It's time to go on the FREAKING attack!  Get over your weaknesses and self-induced criticism, don't outsmart yourselves into not taking the clearest path to victory, stop arguing against your own party and platform, and stop rationalizing the future loss by implying we'll be okay if only 'Walz" wins.  No, we won't!  The DFL has the opportunity to win both the MN House and MN Senate.  If you do, you can make REAL change happen.

But only if you go on an all-out attack, NOW!!!  

DFL, I want to win in November.  Do you?

Friday, October 7, 2022

The Friday Link for 10/7/22

It's all Weird Al tonight...well with one exception. 

Weird Al Yankovic is a freaking comic genius.  Anyone could pull off one parody song, but to do it consistently without sounding repetitive is amazing. He's been doing this since 1979! How many bands are still having success after 43 years?  I'm glad to see him get the comedy respect he deserves.

Let's run down what I think are his biggest successes, starting with what could be his best video, 'Tacky.' This is such a fun watch. 

He became a superstar in my generation with 'Eat It.' Not saying he wasn't popular beforehand, but after 'Eat It,' people were waiting for his version of the biggest songs.  Apparently you have to watch that one on YouTube.  Click on the link.

Also tonight 'Amish Paradise' and 'The Saga Begins' (based on 'American Pie' from Don McLean), two more of my favorite Weird Al songs. 

And I know I already posted the movie trailer once, but I'm posting this again. It looks amazing. 

Finally the one non Weird Al related video.  SWEET LORD does Miles Teller do an amazing impression of Peyton Manning.  Here is the opening skit from the season opener of SNL.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Make sure you get vaccinated and be safe.

Friday, September 30, 2022

The Friday Link for 9/30/22

This week we go into the history of the Civil War, and one of the most important overlooked elements of the war, the end of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  

When you look at the Civil War, Gettysburg was where Lee realized he couldn't win the war on bravado and determination, the fall of Georgia and Vicksburg broke the spirit of the South, but I think it was when the Confederate Army of Tennessee was defeated that Lee knew the gig was up. There were not going to be any reinforcements so when his army lost a man, that was it.  There was no replacement.

What I didn't know until this week was how badly Confederate General John Bell Hood mismanaged the Army in the final few battles.  They pretty much did themselves in.  They tried to draw Sherman and his army out of Georgia, but instead, Sherman and Grant sent a few different military corps/brigades to deal with the Confederates. The plan was the Union forces would meet up at Nashville and repel the expected Confederate strike. 

Nashville fell fairly early in the Civil War, with the Union having control of the town in 1862.  The feeling Hood had was if they could retake the city, it would galvanize Southern pride and help get more people to fill in the quickly depleting ranks of the Confederate forces.  It didn't go as planned.

Three consecutive battles pretty much wiped out the Army of Tennessee, Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville.

Spring Hill was more of a monumental blunder by the Confederates.  They had the Union forces trying to get to Nashville cornered, but they failed to notice the northern troops had slipped away in the middle of the night. Hood was furious at the miscommunication which in turn left the road to Franklin open. 

The Battle of Franklin really was the end for the Army.  The north had high ground, and although the Union forces had a weakness in how they were stationed on the south side of Franklin, it ended up being a massive trap for the Confederates.  They chased the first line of Union forces back to their secondary line and when the Union forces were across, the North opened fire with everything they had at point-blank range.  On top of that, the Confederates were unaware of a third Union line hidden behind a hill, giving the North a massive advantage.  Not only did the Union kill Confederates at a 3-1 ratio (troops they could not replace), but they also took out a shocking amount of Confederate generals, a large portion of their command structure.  My guess would be, in an effort to make up for the mistake at Spring Hill, the officers rode to the front line to meet their demise. 

Nashville was almost a predetermined outcome, and if not for the reluctance of the commanding officer General George Thomas, Union forces would have routed the Army of Tennessee earlier.  A lot of Minnesota troops fought in Tennessee and there is a painting of the soldiers at Nashville in the Governor's office at the Minnesota Capitol. 

Here are three different videos which will take you through the timeline. Enjoy a forgotten piece of Civil War history.  

I love seeing Confederates lose! 

Have a great weekend everyone.  Get vaccinated and stay safe! 

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Friday Link for 9/23/22

This week's Friday Link is a return of 'True Facts with ZeFrank.'

I first came across these videos in an unexpected place, the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  They were playing 'True Facts' about the Owl.  Their point is not only do we consider art painting, sculptures, singing, textiles, theater, and more traditional art categories.  It's also comedy, and good comedy is indeed an art. 

Three for you this week, and a warning, the first one is a hoot, but it is also a little more adult at a few points.  You've been warned!!!

Let's find out more about Killer Surfing Snails! 

Next up is the latest entrant from ZeFrank, Parasitic Birds.  This is also a good time to point out these videos are jam-packed with actual information.  Enjoy! 

And last up The Incredible Tardigrade! 

Have a wonderful and safe Weekend! 

Get vaccinated, and wear a mask in crowded areas.  And remember your flu shot too!