Retraction. Giving Thanks. Communication.

Moderna Advantage? It Has Been A Year – Let’s Be Thankful. Speak Your Words.

In last week’s post I mentioned the challenges with both vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna requiring deep-freeze refrigeration. Upon further review, I was was incorrect as the Moderna vaccine does not need to be kept at Antarctic-like temperatures. This is actually very good news for General Perna and Operation Warp Speed. My bad with the incorrect information.

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2020 – a year of challenges, uncertainty, heartbreak and despair. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it might be time to keep the glass half-full. I am thankful for many things and here is a list in no particular order.

  • For the first responders and healthcare workers – they are fearless and amazing.
  • For the season the Braves had, short as it was.
  • For the freedom to vote.
  • For the diminished campaign ads.
  • For my daughter and son-in-law.
  • For the technology such as Zoom that drives us crazy but allows us to spend time together.
  • For my baking skills (yes, I said it), though one of my friends has been quite critical that I can do better. Meh.
  • For the owners, staff, players, conferences, leagues, and media who during this very difficult time have pulled off live and televised sports.
  • For my friends who bring camaraderie, laughs and sometimes a good bottle of wine.
  • For the ocean and the mountains, both bringing a bit of serenity to this year of infamy.
  • For leaders like General Gustavo Perna, who has the weight of this country on his shoulders.
  • For the weather in Central Florida now being amazing.
  • For all of you, who read my blog, (this being #197), offer up suggestions, and comment whether you agree or disagree. Remember, it is “Just My Take”.

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Many posts ago, we had these young hip-hop artists, who are twins, reacting to hearing Phil Collins for the first time. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought we would all enjoy their reaction to listening to Bob Marley for the first time. Some of their comments are hilarious. “Is he from Jamaica?” These kids are great and I really do like how open they are to trying out artists and their music that they have no clue about. This is Bob Marley’s ‘Is This Love’:

These hip-hop artists obviously had no clue about Bob Marley.

Life lesson. Landon Donovan is probably the most decorated player ever to play with the United States Men’s National Team. He was a creative force in attack, arguably the greatest player ever to pull on a U.S. jersey, and a pivotal figure in the rise of the American game, both at home and on the global stage. Whether you follow soccer or not, his goal in the 2010 World Cup to advance the U.S. into the round of sixteen sent Americans watching at home and in bars into a wild frenzy. It is also recognized as one of the greatest broadcast calls ever, this one in Spanish by Andres Cantor:

Andres Cantor’s famous call of Landon Donovan’s 91st minute goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup.

Landon Donovan’s career has taken him to San Diego, where he just completed his first year as the manager of their professional team. Among many challenges including Covid-19, he states what we all know is obvious but often difficult to make happen: communication. As we deal with the issues relating to the pandemic and approach the holiday season, his message below definitely will resonate with most of us. His response to a question about his biggest hurdle with managing a professional soccer club for the first time:

I think that the biggest learning for me this year was that when I actually communicate, and I’m in the moment of communicating, I’m a very good communicator. What I didn’t do well this year was I wasn’t proactively communicative enough. I needed to take the initiative to talk to a player about something or speak to the staff about something. And that was the feedback I also got from our staff. So I needed to do a better job of just going and having conversations even when I didn’t think there was an issue there, being more aware and then going in and talking through it. And so that for me is probably the number one learning lesson”.

I think we could all agree that we can all do a better job with communicating.

Adios, be safe, pay it forward, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Supply Chain Sorcerer. Random Thinking.

Don’t Mess Around with Gus. I Have A Good Bit on My Mind.

He is sixty years-old and was two weeks from retirement. Two weeks from walking away from retiring from the U.S. Army, where during his 39-year career he quickly rose through the ranks to become a four-star general. Earning a bachelors degree in business management from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology, his career included the following commands:

  • Commander, Joint Munitions Command, responsible for the lifecycle management of $40 billion of conventional ammunition.
  • Commander, 4th Sustainment Brigade, where he deployed the brigade to combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Commander, 64th Forward Support Brigade, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, where he deployed the battalion to combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Commander, B Company, 143rd Ordnance Battalion, Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Two weeks from retirement, and having earned honors including two Bronze Stars, the Army Distinguished Service Medal three times, and the Legion of Merit, New Jersey-born Gustave (Gus) F. Perna was selected to be the Chief Operating Officer of Operation Warp Speed, overseeing the logistics in the search for and the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines. A vaccine process that usually takes between 5-10 years to produce, test, approve, distribute and administer, General Perna was given less than one year to devise strategy, plans, suppliers and support staff to provide 330 million Americans with the vaccine. While it looks like the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna may be available as early as December or January, there are some serious logistical factors that General Perna will come up against:

  • The Pfizer/Moderna vaccines will be a 2-shot process, and administered no sooner than 21 days apart. If my math is correct, that equals 660 million doses.
  • The vaccine must be kept cold; not refrigerator cold but 94 degrees below zero.
  • The General’s task force has already identified many parts of the mainland U.S. and U.S. territories that do not have the necessary ultra-cold freezers nor the ability to produce the necessary amount of dry ice to sustain the vaccine.
  • Kits, that include needles and other supplies to administer the vaccine, must marry up with the vaccine at all U.S. locations.

I wrote about the supply chain issues with administering the vaccine weeks ago, but last Sunday night’s 60 Minutes show included an eye-opening segment featuring General Perna. While this seems like a near-impossible undertaking, we should all have a high level of confidence that General Perna will make this happen. My one big takeaway from the 60 Minutes segment: General Perna makes it very clear that he is 100% accountable for the success of Operation Warp Speed, and at the time he gives the ‘execute’ command, the available vaccine will be deployed and in place at selected distribution points in under 24 hours. Godspeed General Perna. Here is excerpt from the 60 Minutes segment. General Perna is one serious man.

General Gus Perna giving all of us hope.

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Some Random Thinking:

  • Yesterday, fifteen college football games were cancelled or postponed. There has to be a correlation with college students and Covid-19 protocols.
  • After watching the General Perna video, and with no political alliance that I would care about, maybe we should stand him up as a presidential candidate? General Perna running this country would certainly create a level of confidence among all Americans – and put the rest of the world on alert. Can you imagine a conversation between General Perna and Kim Jung-un? I would pay big money to watch that meeting. It would be a massive pay-per-view event.
  • The Masters is not the same without the massive galleries and blooming azaleas. With that said, it is still the Masters and today’s final round should be great to watch. Can Dustin Johnson, under immense pressure, hold onto his four stroke lead?
  • The SpaceX Crew Dragon launch, with four astronauts aboard, has been moved to tonight. I am fortunate that I am 52 miles directly east of Kennedy Space Center and with clear skies have watched many launches from my rooftop. It does not matter how many I have watched to date, the launches and red glare in the night sky is still very cool to take in.
  • The Major League Soccer playoffs start this Friday night and for the first time in four years Atlanta United is not involved. I am confident that Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra will use the extended off-season to get this Club turned around – quickly.
  • Deutsche Bank – your idea of taxing people who work from home is ridiculous and absurd. Tax people working from home during and due to a pandemic? Just shut up with your dumb ass ideas or better yet, remove your businesses from the U.S. and go back to Europe.
  • A headline taken from Google News. Only in 2020 could we try to understand and absorb: “Twitter for the Mac updated with macOS Big Sur optimization, M1 chip support”. Seriously?

Adios, pay if forward, stay safe and have a Funday Sunday!

Corporate Speak. ETA. A Strange Time.

The Jargon Has Become A Bit Of A Game. November Storms. Let’s Keep It Real.

I am guilty as charged. Like many, I have been exposed to the corporate board room, many ‘C-level’ meetings, and now the all-encompassing virtual meeting via Team, Zoom, Slack, Skype and most of the rest of the platforms. Though I have found most of the meetings productive, but probably a bit long in the tooth, my takeaway from many of these types of meetings and variable webinars, is the vocabulary contest challenging the ‘Queen’s English’. Again, some of this business speak sometimes comes from my mouth but I wanted to give my take on some of the puzzling jargon.

  • 30,000 foot view. The subject matter is so beneath you that you could give a rat’s ass.
  • Dot your t’s and cross your i’s. Not if you went to my high school. Not happening.
  • Bandwidth. Capacity is too much of word for me so how could I ever use bandwidth to describe the word capacity?
  • Go all in. Really? I thought we were only going to go 50% on this project?
  • Deck. The first time someone asked me if I had completed the ‘deck’ I told them I have no interest in playing cards. A deck? You mean a PRESENTATION?
  • Back-end. Not going there. Nope.
  • Low hanging fruit. See above; not going there.
  • Onboarding. This must have come from the Navy or Coast Guard. Onboard this.
  • Heavy lifting. Hey HR, my job description did not include physical labor.
  • I’ll run that up the flagpole. You mean you have no authority so you will ask someone else for approval?
  • Boil an ocean. You mean something that is just plain stupid to take on?
  • Take it offline. What you really mean is to just forget about what you are trying to explain.
This conversation just about ‘sums it up’……

It has been a very interesting week. No, I am not referring to the election, but ETA. Not the ‘estimated time of arrival’ but the storm named the same that somehow hit Central America last week and then decided to turn towards Florida. Is it not already November 7th?

After the last six days, I am very happy that I divorced myself from politics long ago. No editorializing, no opinion, no take. With that said, I have heard from some of my friends around the world who are asking me and to a degree challenging me with the American political system and the electoral process. Words from them included: embarrassing, shameful, mockery, and sad. So to all my friends who live abroad, let me be very clear with my response to you. The United States is a democracy and like the majority of countries around the world, the electoral process is not perfect and at times obviously not precise. I would ask you to look at your own country’s electoral process before you comment on the United States of America. By the way, let me be very clear with this statement: no matter who leads the United States, we are the first country to respond with financial and military aid when our allies and antagonists are in trouble. So go look in the mirror and before you make negative comments about the United States, figure out the crap that goes on with your own politics and electoral process. I would also offer up that if you feel the United States is so ‘bad’, do all of us a favor and don’t come here. There, I said it.

Adios, hope for an Atlanta United win on Sunday, and have a great weekend.

“Shaken, Not Stirred”. Hello Darkness You Are Not My Friend. No To Qatar. Thoughts.

Never once, asking women what actor they admired, did this gentleman’s name not come up. With respect to Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig, in my book nobody carried the part of James Bond like Sir Sean Connery. Handsome, tough, and with that Scottish brogue, Sean Connery’s career was massive, appearing in seven James Bond movies along with countless roles as a leading man or supporting actor. Sir Sean Connery passed away Friday night at the age of ninety. Good luck to any one man who tries to walk in his shoes – an impossible task. RIP Sir Sean Connery.

James Bond star Sir Sean Connery dies, aged 90 | Stuff.co.nz
Sir Sean Connery.

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Later on this Sunday afternoon is never acceptable. As if 2020 has not brought on enough of the enduring saga and sadness of Covid-19, we now face over four months of extenuated darkness. This annual event has been known to affect people in many ways and none of them very good. It is like the world now decides to turn off an hour earlier to shorten our day, use more energy, and make interstate highways like I-4 in Orlando more of a roller coaster than road. Those 7:30pm walks at sundown, early evening boat rides, and just simple things like working in your yard unceremoniously go away. We now drift to the abyss of darkness and must wait until mid-March 2021 for daylight savings time to resume. This begins 18 weeks of hell and I am being very clear that I don’t deal with it well. Do you? With all due respect to Simon & Garfunkel, darkness is not my friend.

Pentatonix covering Simon & Garfunkel

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It is held every four years and is the world’s most marketable sports property. According to SportsPro’s inaugural report, the FIFA World Cup has been named as the most marketable sports property with the competition beating the likes of the NBA (third), the NFL (19th) and the UEFA Champions League (Seventh). As a simple comparison, 99 million people tuned into Super Bowl 2020, while the 2019 World Cup final averaged 517 million viewers, with 1.1 billion people, at some point, tuning into the ninety minute game. It’s huge, it is a spectacle and it is a marketing bonanza for many brands.

Here’s a not so random thought. Cancel the 2022 World Cup. Yes, cancel the tournament. Most of us remember and are often reminded of the unscrupulous dealings of the governing body of football (FIFA) and the awarding of the 2022 tournament to of all countries Qatar. Hundreds of deaths of workers living in squalor who work twelve hour days for nominal wages to build the stadia and infrastructure necessary to host the tournament. Secret deals to allow sponsors to sell their products (beer for one) in a country where alcohol is basically banned. Then moving the always summer tournament to the December time frame to allow the players to perform in 90 degree weather instead of an average temperature of 115 degrees during June-July.

Now news agencies are reporting that Qatar Airways, the country’s national airline, performed unauthorized strip searches of women passengers who had boarded a plane in Qatar heading to Australia. Enough is enough. Time for a reset so cancel the tournament and let Qatar continue to be nothing in the world’s perspective. This video is disturbing to say the least. Go to the six minute mark to see the workers’ living conditions. FIFA, you should be ashamed.

It is estimated that over 1,400 migrant workers have died working in Qatar.

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Thoughts:

  • Todd Gurley, a week ago, after your quarterback tells you NOT to score a touchdown so that the clock can run down allowing your team to kick a field goal and win the game, you score a touchdown giving your fellow UGA alumni Matt Stafford an opportunity to drive his team down the field to score the winning touchdown. Todd Gurley, in Thursday night’s game against Carolina, all you had to do is NOT stop the clock by running out of bounds to basically secure a win on the road. You run out of bounds. Maybe you and I should have a discussion?
  • Speaking of football, it is quite obvious that perspective has gone down the toilet. The pundits, the fans, and the TV networks are so concerned about Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and not because he contracted Covid-19. Are they asking about his health and welfare? No, they are asking if he will be ready to play against Notre Dame this Saturday with having to isolate for ten days minimum. Perspective? There is none.
  • Any ideas of how to persuade, influence or take down the person who thinks it is a good idea to fly above LAX using a jetpack? Moron.
  • Have you seen the new Borat movie? Don’t. Moron #2.
  • If you think petting a black leopard inside the leopard’s cage is a good idea, you deserve to be scalped and have one of your ears torn in half by ‘your new friend’. On top of this great idea, you paid $150 to make this happen. Moron #3.
  • On a brighter note, I leave you with a tribute to everyone has fought Covid-19, and to those people and their families who have suffered the loss of a loved one. This is a version of one of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time, Stairway to Heaven. The Wilson sisters (Heart) performed this tribute to Led Zeppelin many years ago at the annual Kennedy Center Honors show. Ann’s vocals, Nancy’s guitar, Jason Bonham, son of drummer John Bonham, and a massive choir. In the audience are Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. This version of Stairway to Heaven is INCREDIBLE.
I was and still am a huge fan of the Wilson sisters and Heart.

Adios, enjoy the darkness, pay it forward, be safe and have a Funday Sunday!!

Do You Have Answers?

As we approach the eleventh month of 2020, lots of questions come to mind with the Thanksgiving and the December holidays – as well as the start of 2021.

  • Politics, which I have no interest in, takes to the forefront this week with the looming presence of the November 3 Presidential election. Anyone want to venture a guess if we will actually find out the winner of the election anytime around November 3 and into the morning of November 4?
  • When does the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control put their self-serving interests to the side and provide discernible protocols for everyone to help stop the spread of Covid-19? Are we going to face the same information dilemma once vaccines are tested and the data provides a high level of efficacy? As I have mentioned in previous posts, the worldwide distribution of the vaccine may pose just as big of a problem as getting a vaccine accepted by the Food & Drug Administration.
  • After absorbing massive losses this year due to pandemic restrictions, what do college and professional sports teams do to get their fan base back into stadiums and arenas? The same for restaurants, retailers, hotels and airlines?
  • How does the outcome of the election affect the financial markets short and long term?
  • Can the housing sector maintain its growth, support incredibly low interest rates, and provide builders with capital to maintain a level of new housing starts?
  • Does virtual become a standard learning practice or does the pressure from parents needing their kids to be at school (some my say just out of the house) force school administrators to buy up the world’s inventories of plexi-glass?
  • What happens with retail during the holiday shopping season? Are people willing to enter a mall and go to stores? Does Amazon and online retailing take precedent? Will Santa make an appearance at the local mall or holiday festival? A year ago we were worried about the retail sector because it was the retail sector. Now the pandemic has diluted the retail experience even further.
  • To Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra: for months I have defended the team’s performance, specifically attributed to the injury to Josef Martinez and the decisions on the player pool. The decision to move Frank de Boer on from his job was necessary so these types of dynamics can cause performance issues on the field. With that said, let me be clear: both of you need to look in the mirror, get those smug smiles off your faces, and quit doing your silly and immature bits on social media. Both of you are accountable for the performance of this team and the team is very poor. Benchmark? Sure, look at what Luis Muzzi has done in Orlando with half the budget you have….he has put together a high-tempo team with a mix of experience and young, eager players. Atlanta United is a shadow of itself and it is not due to Martinez’s injury. The 17’s should be outraged.
  • How many episodes of Forensic Files can one person watch? The series has a massive following on the Headline News channel from CNN. Five minutes into my first episode the other night: in one word, disturbing.
  • Speaking of questions, I have many. The Moody Blues probably said it best with one of their famous singles. Yes, they introduced this song fifty years ago.
Questions, a hit single by The Moody Blues, circa 1970.

Adios, pay if forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday!!!

A Fall Classic.

What On Earth Is He Talking About? A Platform Of Aggregation. Steam.

Maybe I self-evaluate my intelligence or lack there of too often. I am very aware of my strengths and weaknesses but I write a blog so I can’t be that much of a dumb ass (no comment please). The reality is that I admire very intelligent people which is interesting as very intelligent people and I are definitely not aligned. I like to challenge myself once in awhile to take in information or content that I am not necessarily interested in or follow (such as high intelligence quota subjects like sports).

Last week, I decided to watch two episodes of Cosmos: Possible Worlds. My first indication that I would be overmatched by this content were the credits that ran before the show opening. It is quite apparent that when I see Carl Sagan in the credits of any documentary, I either need to change the channel or have a biophysicist sitting next to me to give me the cliff notes. If Carl Sagan wasn’t enough, the first person I see on the first episode is none other than the American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and planetary scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Red alert bells go off in my head as I now realize that this programming is going to be a mental shock to my system.

To no surprise, within the first twenty minutes of episode one, Neil deGrasse Tyson, with his smooth delivery and off the charts vocabulary, starts to discuss Cyanobacteria and the Cambrian explosion. Of course my brain starts to melt a bit as he describes Cyanobacteria, which in his words is something along the the lines of a phylum of prokaryotes consisting of both free-living photosynthetic bacteria and the endosymbiotic plastids that are present in the Archaeplastida autotrophic eukaryotes.

I no longer want to communicate with you if that description of Cyanobacteria made any sense to you….or if you even know how to pronounce most of those words. I don’t know how many times during the two episodes I repeated, probably out loud to myself, what the hell (my polite blog word) is he talking about? I did soak up the two episodes and immediately went to the bottle of Woodford Reserve to bring reality and balance back to my self-being. Self deprecating or not, reality does reveal that I am not the sharpest pencil in the stack.

I did read (yes, I do read) a bit about Neil deGrasse Tyson. While it is clear that we are are the opposite sides of the intelligence spectrum, I do like and acknowledge this quote from him: “Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not“.

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When I look for a good example of ‘aggregation’ I look to Google News. No, not all the content but the way Google News aggregates and matches up subject matter with news platforms and presents it in a simple, concise way. I want to take this type of aggregation platform and dovetail it with cord-cutting. You read it right, that’s what I want to do. So to my associates and readers who come from the sports/entertainment/technology/finance worlds….you better get ready to help get this idea to fruition quickly. The simple premise: Why should I cut the cord and what choices do I really have, based on the content I consume? How do I make my choices with non-linear and/or linear providers and what will it cost me? How do I pay and when? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

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Blowing of some steam:

  • Yesterday could have started as one of the greatest sports weekends in Atlanta history. The Braves closing out their NLCS series and heading to the World Series and the Georgia Bulldogs beating the second-ranked Crimson Tide. Not.
  • Today, the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United and the Braves have a chance to make the weekend better. The Falcons are in disarray and play away to Minnesota, United plays away to Toronto (in CT as you can’t travel to Canada), and the Braves have another opportunity to make it to a World Series. Any takers?
  • A tale of two cities: Atlanta’s sports teams other than the Braves have had a tough Covid-19 year. In comparison, the Tampa Bay area is on fire. The Lightning wins the Stanley Cup, the Rays make it to the World Series, the Bucs are looking good and run by none other than Tom Brady, and the Rowdies sit atop their division in the USL Championship. It must be the water.
  • To the Braves, manager Brian Snitker, and tonight’s starting pitcher Ian Anderson: do NOT throw one pitch within two feet of the plate to the Dodgers’ Corey Seager. Just don’t.
  • To the Georgia Bulldogs: even with the bad-looking loss last night, there may be a lot to salvage by year-end. Get it together.
  • To UCF: for years you have had a top five offense in the country. Why do you not believe in defense – this has been systemic for years. Yesterday, you score 49 points and lose 50-49? Ridiculous.

Adios, be safe, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!

Eddie & Michael.

A Legend Is Gone – Let Us Not Forget.

Obit Eddie Van Halen
Who Would Have Thought? Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson.

For me, music has played a significant role over many years but never more important than now. Sure, during the pandemic lockdown, Netflix and other televised content became a focal point, but listening to music, from classical to rock to reggae, has become a common denominator to maintaining some level of sanity during these crazy times of 2020. I have mentioned my brother in previous posts, who in my opinion, when very young, was way ahead of his time with music content. That small bedroom in our southwest Miami home was always filled with music blasting from his Marantz stereo with speakers that should have been placed in a ballroom, not a 10′ x 12′ bedroom. From Ravi Shankar to Ten Years After to Brothers Johnson, my exposure and enjoyment of different artists and their music has continued to present day.

The guitar has always been my favorite. From the twang of the slide guitar to the driving riffs of rock, there has always been something about the guitar that brings back memories and makes me smile. With the passing last week of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, I have reflected back to the days of Woodstock, funk, and the legendary late 70’s and 80’s hair bands. Don’t get me wrong, I loved War, Keith Sweat, Michael Jackson and Prince, but rock has been and still is my go-to for most of my listening pleasure.

Speaking of Michael Jackson, all of us remember his massive selling album “Thriller” and the song “Beat It”. Per Michael’s request, famous music industry mogul Quincy Jones made a call to Eddie Van Halen asking him to add a guitar break to “Beat It”, resulting in rock history when Van Halen added 20 scorching seconds to the middle of the song. Due to the ask coming from of all people Quincy Jones, Van Halen worked for free and spent only an hour in studio producing a riff that to this day is legendary. A great quote from Van Halen regarding “Beat It”: After the record’s release, Van Halen would remember shopping in a Tower Records store while “Beat It” was playing on the sound system. “The solo comes on, and I hear these kids in front of me going, ‘Listen to this guy trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen,’” he said. “I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘That IS me!’ That was hilarious.”

“Beat It” is still played very often and I always like to challenge my music friends asking them who did the guitar break on the song. Most people never remembered or correlated Eddie Van Halen with Michael Jackson as the song “Beat It’ included one of the greatest riffs of all time. If you don’t want to watch this famous music video move to the 3:10 mark. RIP Eddie Van Halen.

“Beat It” from the album Thriller, and the famous Eddie Van Halen riff.

That is my take on one of the greatest guitarists of all time. For another perspective watch and listen to the enjoyment from this young kid reacting to Eddie and his band Van Halen. Priceless.

Eddie killing it with David Lee Roth.

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe and have a Funday Sunday!!

Popular Vote. Definitely Not NYC. Dark Shadows. Live.

It’s Not Popular. NY’s Hudson Valley Region. It’s Getting Dark In Here. Don’t Mess With Bane. You Are Looking Live….

  • November 3 is election day. Though I have removed myself from all political rhetoric and self-serving hyperbole, I am an American and believe in the political process. So if you are eligible, it is your right to vote. Unfortunately, we may not find out the winner of the presidential election on the night of November 3. That seems a bit sideways as the accounting of the mail-in vote may push the electoral accounting process to the next day…or the next week…..or? What is the electoral college? An American pastime devised to provide ‘equal’ representation from all the states – no matter the population of the 50 states in the union (and the District of Columbia). There are many people who believe or think that the presidential election is a count of the individual or popular vote. Don’t roll your eyes as a few polls completed in the last four months have up to 25% of American adults believing that the popular vote decides the presidential election. Note: refer to late night hosts interviewing ‘people on the street’, asking very simple trivia-type questions about the United States to adults and getting back answers that are mind-boggling. So we are all on the same page: In the electoral college system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress. Each elector casts one electoral vote following the general election; there are a total of 538 electoral votes. The candidate that gets more than half (270) wins the election. Clear as mud. As a random sample of our fellow American’s general knowledge take a look at a few minutes of this walkabout with Jay Leno:
Who’s On First?
  • The Hudson Valley region of New York is beautiful this time of year. Amazing that just an hour or so north of New York City, you can find so many small towns, rolling hills, and parks and trails along the Hudson River. The fall color is in full array this time of year which brings tons of people up from the City on most weekends. I stayed in Beacon, a quaint small town along the Hudson, with it’s art galleries, pubs, and historic landmarks. A really great town.
Beacon NY Real Estate, Homes for Sale | Houlihan Lawrence
Just 90 minutes from NYC, along the Hudson River, is Beacon, New York.
  • Halloween may look a bit different at the end of the month due to the issues with Covid-19. Halloween is only three weeks away which in turn tells us that the demise of daylight savings time is upon us. For those counting the days we go very dark on Sunday, November 1. The upside: daylight savings time will be back with us on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
  • The following take was posted back in June but in light of Friday’s hospitalization of the President, it is prudent to post one more time: I don’t do politics – but what I don’t understand is the correlation of wearing a mask and politics. Use the science as a data point and wear a mask when around others. Some have told me that I look better with one on.
Just Bane reminding people to wear masks. : funny
Even badass Bane wears a face covering.
  • Live televised sports – in one word: thankful. MLB, LPGA, PGA, USTA, WTA, NBA, NWSL, WNBA, NFL, MLS, NHL. To the leagues and tours and their hard working staffs, the players, the coaches, and television networks: whatever and however you were able to make this all happen…..great stuff!

Adios, pay it forward, be safe and have a Funday Sunday.

Numbers On My Mind.

Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.

  • 200,000 – that number was hit last week. Nothing much else to say other than let us have hope for a vaccine.
  • 95 – I never wish to rush my life along but with that said that is the number of days left until the first day of 2021.
  • 2- the number of wins Atlanta United has in their last eleven games. A combination of factors including scheduling, the player pool changes and a key injury…but still disconcerting. The disrespect with Orlando City has come to a dead stop for good reasons.
  • 143 – the combined ages of the United States’ two leading experts who are combating the pandemic. Thankfully.
  • 40 – he is not mentioned as often as Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders and Walter Payton, but Gayle Sayers was in a class of his own and many years ahead of his time. RIP #40, Gayle Sayers.
Fast, strong and his ability to cut back against the grain – amazing.
  • 16,000 – the number of restaurants that shut down during the pandemic – and are now closed permanently.
  • 20 – The number of division titles won by the Atlanta Braves.
  • 80 – as in feet and the height of a massive wave a surfer took on off the coast of Portugal. No, no, and no. She is amazing.
…..and I am concerned about driving on Interstate 4…
  • 55 – the miles between Orlando and New Smyrna Beach. A very fun beach town.
  • 13- the number of leading companies doing what they can to get a Covid-19 vaccine developed and approved. Safety and efficacy are part of this equation.
  • 1 – the number of lungs now functioning for Los Angeles Charger quarterback Tyrod Tyler. It seems the team doctor, in an effort to provide Tyler with a pain killer in the rib area, accidently punctured a lung. Say what?
  • 420 – maybe we should celebrate that day every day?
  • 7 – In the Old Testament the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh, creating the basis of the seven-day-week…. and Sunday Funday.
  • 0 – Numbers can be statistically significant and there is no more important number right now than “Down To Zero” – a great piece from an artist my brother turned me onto a long time ago. Let’s get Covid-19 down to zero.
Three-time Grammy nominated Joan Armatrading.

In a world of some negative vibes, here is a feel-good story that has nothing to do with numbers…except one six-year old child with autism who went missing in the woods behind his home in London, Ontario. The combination of ground forces with night vision goggles and a helicopter equipped with both heat seeking and laser technology was able to locate the child. This is a bit of shining light in the world of the weird right now. Kudos to all law enforcement involved with bringing this child back to his family.

In one word: FANTASTIC!!

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe and have a Sunday Funday!!

Rise Up.

Random Thoughts As We Head Into Fall.

The Fall thankfully means both types of football, cooler weather, and unfortunately the slow demise of daylight savings time. In a time that is challenging for all of us, this time of year will provide a better outlook from a number of perspectives. While many are predicting another massive wave of Covid-19, the production and distribution of a vaccine will eventually stem the clear and present danger.

No one could have ever thought that the issues related to Covid-19 would remain in the pandemic stage into mid-September. I hope that someone with way more smarts than me can explain to all of us how the vaccine will be distributed worldwide. A supply chain quandary for sure. Take the time to read the article below – creating the amount of vaccine necessary to inoculate the world’s population is a monumental effort, but the distribution of the vaccine may be more problematic than we can ever imagine. I am staying positive that the Covid-19 vaccine will be fully developed and approved very soon but reading this article prompts many questions. https://www.bloombergquint.com/global-economics/the-supply-chain-to-save-the-world-is-unprepared-for-a-vaccine .

Mr. Arthur Blank, who has provided the funding and governance of his two professional sports teams, deserves better. While many teams are using 2020 as a year to retrench and pivot, being marginal as a team in Atlanta, with its fickle fan base, has never been a positive path forward. Last night, at the stadium Mr. Blank built, his Atlanta United team lost to Inter Miami. Only one win in its last ten games for United and the Atlanta Falcons play at Dallas later today. Let’s hope the Falcons can somehow pull off a win at the stadium Jerry Jones built.

You have to feel for everyone affected by Hurricane Sally. Hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, loss of life, and the loss of homes and businesses. In the middle of a pandemic. The Red Cross does great work – all of us should consider donating a few dollars to help everyone out. Make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Sally by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word HURRICANES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. http://redcross.org The situation in California with the devastating wildfires is different but certainly dire straits. Thousands of acres of land, forests, and personal property wiped out by what seems like the never-end fires – with thousands of first responders fighting every day to extinguish this disaster of massive proportion. https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2020/red-cross-response-to-western-wildfires.html

In my continuing effort to stop people from invading the space of wild animals, again we witness humans being humans. This western Massachusetts homestead was obviously built in bear country, minimizing the amount of forest black bears need to roam and hunt for food. The owner had the nerve to fall asleep at his backyard pool preventing this black bear from having a private swim. The bear, as polite as the come, lightly taps on the man’s foot hoping to wake him so he will go inside.

“Get out of my lounge chair”

Forget the political stance for one second. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put up a monumental fight against cancer but passed away on Friday at the age of 87. I like people, especially women, who fight for what they think is right, who are tough as nails, and of course have a great deal of sass. Justice Ginsburg was the definition of tough and backed down to no one. Though small in stature, she had a commanding presence and demanded respect. I really like her quotes at the end of this short video. RIP Justice Ginsburg.

Previous posts have mentioned the Fall and the north Georgia mountains. Whether a day trip or a nice long weekend, visit the town of Blue Ridge. Good hiking, a fun town, and plenty of great cabins to enjoy. https://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/north-georgia-hiking-trails-our-top-10-favorite-hikes/

Adios, pay if forward, stay safe, and have a Funday Sunday.