Yellow boots and green Jell-O

yellow boots

When my son was born until he was about five, we lived in an apartment building in St. Paul on Fairview off Grand Avenue. The landlords, Pat and Harold Hamm — the two kindest Angels of my early adulthood — had taken us in as their adopted family. We were invited to Sunday dinner, to sit with them on the curb in the evening, to share their air-conditioning on hot evenings. But mostly Pat, a large woman, made sure we were eating properly.

“You kids are too skinny,” Pat would say as she whisked my son away to get his special treat; green Jell-O.


Never confuse ‘clear thought’ with crap

Last Saturday, Mark Lilla, a professor of humanities at Columbia University, wrote an article in the WSJ titled The Perils of ‘Populist Chic’, What the rise of Sarah Palin and populism means for the conservative intellectual tradition. It was well-thought out and objectively argued. In short, it explains why presidential candidates need to go bowling and drinking beer, why smart girls get teased in math class and why nobody like a know-it-all. Kinda.

Anyway, I tell you this so that you are intriqued enough to read the article and draw your own conclusions, but also to introduce Mr. Peter Noel Murray, Ph.D who wrote a letter to the editor, saying, among other things:

Prof. Lilla proves that highly educated minds can be small and prejudiced when he describes Gov. Sarah Palin as “ignorant” and “provincial.” What this Columbia professor really means is that she isn’t Ivy League educated and isn’t from New York City.

Well, I’m just a mutt that grew up in the Frogtown area of St. Paul and graduated with a BA in English from the public university, the University of Minnesota and even I think Sarah Palin is ignorant and provincial. Moreover, I think she is rather stupid in that she does not show a capacity to learn as evidenced by her more recent interviews (still reading the keywords off the notecards!) Furthermore, she exhibits distain for others around her and appears incapable of empathy. 

But mostly, she is stupid. No, really she is.

The president should be really smart, almost geeky smart. The fact that we have a smart president-elect who is also a great orator and empath is a giant plus. Let’s stop “mocking him” through sneers, jokes and sarcastic asides. After all, he did what Sarah Palin and John McCain could not.

Posted by email from rufus’s posterous

Be patient with GenY; winter is coming

Ryan Healy with Brazen Careerist posted an article up on the blog a few days ago, asking GenY to tell companies what they want. A flood of comments have come in since and will probably get a few more as the “old folks” wander into the office on Monday morning and peek at what the “crazy kids” are doing with their time.

A lot of the comments were GenY-ers, asserting themselves. Then the old farts would try to slap them back, then they would get riled again…. it goes on. Here is a short story to shed some light on all this.

When I was a young pup, we owned a laundromat in the Crocus Hill area of St. Paul. One year, around July or so, a large contingent of folks wearing robes, no shoes or anything leather descended on the area, preaching love, animal rights, tree-hugging, etc. They berated us locals for wearing shoes, belts and killing animals for clothing. After about a month of this, the local business owners had just about enough of them wandering into the shops, begging for money, preaching, etc. The subject of what to do with them came up at a local chamber meeting.

One of the older business owners stood up and said, “Don’t worry, winter is coming.”

Sure enough, when October hit and the ground got too cold to walk on, they left the area for warmer climes. And things got back down to normal. But, they left us with an experience and a short parable to write on this blog to a new generation a couple decades later.

So, don’t worry about GenY. Let them rattle a few cages, bellow out their rants and bend the older folks to change. Watch and listen for stories you can use to educate a new generation.

Winter is coming soon for GenY, too.

Personal responsibility rears its ugly head again

I was watching CSPAN (yeah, we dogs watch CSPAN!) and the rep from MN was pontificating on how backed up the St. Paul passport office was and ow her constituents could not go on their vacations because it was taking more than five weeks to process passports.

Oh, BOO-HOO! We have had two years to get a passport. We knew this law was coming and yet we sat around on our butts and thought we could just go up to the drive-through passport office and order one. No waiting more than 20 seconds or your passport is free!

I’m not a Condi fan, but I could tell in her face she was thinking what I was thinking. “Your dumbass constituents should have planned in advance instead of screwing up and then complaining to the government that someone should fix the problem. It is their own damn fault. NEXT!”