Monthly Archives: November 2016

Hypocrisy discernment: MSFA board and its suites at US Bank Stadium

The inherent hypocrisy is supposed to be say the functionaries of the peoples’ party (DFL) indulging themselves in the very expensive suites at US Bank Stadium, this indulgence on the public dime….


MSFA gets a couple suites at the stadium as a function of they being proprietor. That’s sensible. How is that not sensible?

Mondale, Kelm-Helgen and the other board members get access to the suites on game days, and they don’t have to buy tickets… It’s incorrect to understand that as a perk or privilege. It’s these people’s job to maintain an expertise on any and all operational details of the building. Anytime they are there on game day, they are adding to their expertise. So their presence on game day is totally understandable as ‘work’. You don’t make people pay to ‘work’.

Hodges doesn’t work for the MSFA, but it’s totally reasonable that she go there and check the scene out as part of her mayoral duties, with the seating a courtesy of the of the MSFA. Doesn’t matter if she was against the stadium or not. And no, you don’t need to be sure to ding her husband $200 at that point to keep things egalitarian. He can be a guest too, that’s fine.

You get some more peripheral governmental figures into the suite on game day (like the city attorney noted) and lobbyists…. I accept Ted Mondale’s explanation that they are building inter- bureaucratic alliances, awareness, and doing some cross selling, etc. This is not actually fanciful.

I think it’s fine Ted gets his father in as a guest, and Walter doesn’t pay (they shamed him into paying…).

At the point board members’ children and their friends are getting the suites on Sunday, I think that will inevitably be spotted and outed as an abuse. Doesn’t seem like it’s happened yet.

Big thing is, suite access isn’t inherently worth $300 a Sunday afternoon or whatever. It’s worth that because of NFL football, and it’s the Vikings who own the suite revenue stream on game day. So it’s not the public who gets shortchanged here, it’s the Vikings. They’ll get by.

Discernment: its not hypocrisy, or whatever the Strib wants to ininuate, though they did succeed in shaming some people into writing ‘reimbursement’ checks.


Philando:  The charges

For justice, I’m looking for a manslaughter conviction and no less than a $6 million settlement from Saint Anthony and Falcon Heights.  I’ve said that among the things I’ve said about this:

Cop Yanez got charged with manslaughter.  That’s half the battle.   Now, there’s a bit of pessimism about getting the conviction given the presumptions that cops are granted.  I don’t see it that way here.  The shooting was just so incompetent, so bad, that the only way cop presumptions overshadow the incompetence is through bad lawyering by the prosecutors.  And I don’t think we’re going to see bad lawyering from the prosecutors, won’t see them lay down.

One thing is, we’re going to have an adjudicated discussion about what it means for a cop’s fears to be reasonable, and the actions made from his fears to be reasonable.

This is basically a first, and I have my doubts that given the opportunity, a jury actually gives the okee dokee to a cop who shoots compliant man who hasn’t shown his gun.

Now, he could be acquitted, or there could be a hung jury, no doubt.  But there are details of negligence that are going to go on the public record in any event, and a criminal trial for Yanez means St. Anthony and Falcon Heights and the League of Cities (the insurer) will settle an enormous civil claim rather than see that go to civil court.

Terrorists win in Exurban Bedroom Community

Imperfect analogy follows:  Ya know, in ‘Roadhouse’ (Swayze bar movie that’s so stupid its riveting…) the ambience is a town where law is submissive to a local oligarch.

We don’t have a local oligarch here.  Not oligarch in the way we think of oligarchs.  But the civic agenda here just got bullied with proto-terrorist violence, and it’s like something out of ‘Roadhouse’.

It bugs me that my town is going to just submit to that.

Nose to a new grindstone

I had been on a contract gig at a little software shop on 494 and France since Sept 2015.  It was good, went well, and for many reasons it was because it was a company with their act together and a good product.  Well, it’s not just when times are bad that the contractors get let go.  They are pre-IPO now, and wanted to shed some expense for the investment bankers.  Me and some colleagues had expected to be there until spring, but on 10/18 we got notice they would let us go on 10/31.

Sooooo….. Update the LinkedIn, update the Dice….  Phone then rang a lot, but most of it was low potential stuff, IE, Indian recruiters working in various metropolitan American boiler rooms, they asking to submit you for Twin Cities IT contractor requisitions that they have no on-the-ground salesmanship to actually get interviews for.

I did get a couple good, quality calls from local people.  Had two interviews.  One was for a very traditional corporate thing…. Insurance.  I had a strong interview, though they asked me to write a SQL join out on paper and I couldn’t do it.  I didn’t try to bluff though, just said…  I can’t do that.    They still might have hired me, but it was $5/hr less than I’d been making.    That’s around $1000 a month paycut hey.  I’m trying to pay taxes, fund retirement, and live normally here hey….you take less, you got to shorten one of those legs on the three legged stool.  I was going to say no if I actually got a callback.

So, this rate thing gets to be a hard needle to thread when you’re at the right end of the bell curve for what you do…I could have gotten more interviews at intermediate rates.  But it also seemed to be a slow moment for projects as we near the end of yearly budgets, and people assume a light work month in Nov and Dec with its holiday breaks.

I’m not working 1st week of Nov… I do a lot of honey-dos.  2nd week, I do quite a few phone calls on Mon-Wed.  But then, I get a call on Wed, set up a face to face for Thurs with a married couple that has their own SW engineering practice ….  I do the interview Thurs with them.  I’m solid and we find we know the same people, and…. All the people they know are people who would think pretty well of me, thank God.   They need a solid guy pronto because they were called in to straighten out something pronto.   They offer me job right there to start Monday, offer me the rate I want.  Done.

Like I’ve said before, I understand all the granular networking and credibility principles that allow for this to happen.  I’m astonished I attained it at times, but I am old, have been at it a while now…. going to be 48 next week.

Anyway, did it again, found another gig with not much idleness in between (9 days of paid work missed this time).  At this point I’ve gone since 2009 without going more than 3 weeks without a gig.

Exurban bedroom community rocked by post election violence

I happen to live in what’s probably among the 5 or 6 oldest neighborhoods in Minnesota.  Hudson was settled in 1839.  Directly across the river in MN territory were some bucolic hardwood savannah type spots that were easily clearable… this neighborhood, old Exurban Bedroom Community, was settled well before Minnesota became a state. House down the street from mine dates exactly to statehood I guess, 1858.  The Wikipedia picture might as well have been taken yesterday, it’s accurate.   Which is to say, the house there is in fact old, and is in fact kind of a shithole.

In the old neighborhood here, you not by coincidence also got a very old city hall… 100 years old or more.  While cute and antebellum from the outside, it too is to be properly understood as a shithole.  So this most recent mayor and council committed to build a modern, 2400 sq foot building to house city functions.  They were to spend $650k or so, and the city had the money, did not have need to finance.

Seems a good value, seems sensible enough.  But we have a local gadfly whose overt patriotism act is married to an equally flamboyant exhortation for Rockwell-ian small town life.  This gadfly fellow didn’t want to see the old city hall mothballed and torn down, wanted to see it refurbed with the $600k (even though the new building was a done deal).  Call it a preservationist sentiment, call it what you will, it has its adherents.  The fellow had not much difficulty organizing a council slate to run behind his mayoral campaign, with their only plank that they were going to keep the old city hall.

And they won.

And then someone in this ‘preservationist’ gadfly cabal burned the new city hall down.

The intemperateness here I’d say was borne of Trumpism…. It’s not unrelated.  Its correlated if not caused.