It’s Getting Hot In Here.

My POV. What’s Yours?

  • Racism and bigotry make me sick. I am not going to lecture or go “Gandhi” with this take. I try not to pass judgement and do understand the freedom of speech. What I do not understand are the people who hide behind social media to racially abuse others. Racism is not confined to the United States – it is a worldwide problem and issue that is sad and alarming. I was particularly disgusted last week with the reported racial taunts directed at three young men that play for England’s national team. These three men, tremendous players who represented their country at the European Championships, unfortunately did not convert their penalty kicks in the final match against Italy. The racial barrage that followed the match, directed towards these three, were in a word shocking. I am not going to comment on what content social media platforms should allow or prohibit, but I will hope and pray that this type of racial abuse stops once and for all. I bought this shirt yesterday – how about you?
Jason Sudeikis, the star of Ted Lasso, showing his support.

  • Al Gore has tried to educate the world about global warming. I have never paid any attention to his platform and the subject matter. Nothing to do with politics…the issues of global warming previously did not resonate with me. The reports coming out of Antarctica regarding the rapid loss of ice is alarming. Since 1990, Antarctica has lost roughly three trillion tons of ice. Today, the rate of loss is accelerating as warm ocean water melts and destabilizes the floating ice shelves that hold back West Antarctica’s glaciers, causing those glaciers to flow more quickly into the sea. Alarming to say the least. Then, last week, scientists blamed massive floods in western Germany and eastern Belgium on the slow progression of global warming. It is unfortunate that addressing this issue involves politics, but for the sake of generations to come, it seems like the issue needs to be addressed, and addressed now.
PHOTO: Debris of houses and trees surround houses in Schuld, Germany, July 16, 2021.
120 people have been killed with hundreds missing due to floods in Europe.

  • I find the three headlines below so ironic. Here we are, in July of 2021, seventeen months after the United States, and the world for that matter, basically shut down. Now, after all that time, we are trying to get back to normal with airline passenger traffic back to pre-pandemic levels. You would think that passengers would be grateful to be back flying to their destination of choice – maybe not so much.

– Investigations Into Unruly Airline Passengers Have Increased Since 2020
– American Airlines Passenger Duct-Taped to Chair After Trying to Open Door
– Passenger Opens Plane’s Emergency Exit Door To Get Fresh Air

  • At least Richard Sherman apologized and at least with the media, expressed remorse for his actions and behaviors. The five-time Pro Bowl defensive back was arrested last week and was charged with criminal trespass in the second degree with a domestic-violence element; reckless endangerment of roadway crews, driving under the influence, resisting arrest and malicious mischief with a domestic-violence element. It does not matter if Sherman is alcohol-dependent or not, his mental capacity and possible illness is alarming. Sherman is a free agent and after this incident the optics would look really bad for another NFL team to add him to their roster. Sherman, by the way, is a Vice President of the NFL Players Association. So very sad.
Richard Sherman at the door of his in-laws.

  • The Summer Olympic Games start this Friday. I always look forward to the Olympic Games, with names like Peggy Fleming, Mark Spitz, Bruce Jenner, and Jesse Owens forever embedded in my mind. Simone Biles, regarded as the greatest gymnast to ever roam the earth, will again represent the United States in Japan. She is a remarkable athlete and her performances are eye-opening. The two-minute video below is her floor exercise where she does the unreal at the beginning and end of her routine. Here is to Simone bringing home the GOLD!
The one and only Simone Biles.

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

Alert v.1

Top Of Mind Things I Think.

Dateline: July 11, 2021: There are a number of things happening….some good and some not so good.

  • Who would have thought that Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos would be competing in the business of space travel? The first milestone is to reach the height of 100KM (62,000 feet), known as the Von Karman Line, is more than just two billionaires’ bragging rights. Branson will take off tomorrow in his VSS Unity vehicle, a winged rocket plane, which is carried by a four-engine jet to an altitude of 50,000 feet and flies the rest of the way to space under rocket power, eventually returning to earth and landing like an airplane. Bezos’ New Shepard is more like a traditional rocket, eventually descending by parachute and hopefully landing upright. Whatever time, effort, and money Branson and Bezos put into space exploration will definitely pay dividends and pave the way for all of us to experience space travel.
GodSpeed Sir Richard Branson!

  • When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492, he named the land La Isla Española. Now known as Hispaniola, this island is divided between two countries that are diverse in many ways. The Dominican Republic enjoys the trade winds and other favorable climate, along with democratic governance. Many high-end resorts dot the coastline of the Dominican Republic, bringing all the advantages of tourist dollars and relative taxes. Across the border sits Haiti, with it’s arid climate making farming and cultivation very difficult, along with it’s violent past aligned with rulers like Jean-Claude Duvalier. Nicknamed “Baby Doc”, he was a tyrannical Haitian politician who was the President of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown by a popular uprising in February 1986. It is amazing how politics play a role in a country’s economy. “Baby Doc’s” rule succumbed his country into economic despair, and along with the ramifications of a devastating earthquake and consistent hurricane damage, Haiti, though it shares a border with the thriving Dominican Republic, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Some people called Haiti’s new president a savor. Economic reforms, new policies, and an effort to attract foreign investment were the top of President Jovenel Moise’s platform to help this desperate country. Last week, 20 or so Colombian mercenaries, led by two Americans, swarmed Moise’s presidential compound and murdered him. Haiti is back to complete chaos – a sad situation for a country sitting in the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

  • I mentioned my concern last week and I am going to mention it once again. Whether the viruses are correlated to the new ‘Delta Variant’ or not, something across the world is not right. While many of us are finally enjoying socializing at all levels, cities in Japan and Seoul, South Korea, with a population close to 10 million, are once again shutting down. No matter the reasons or circumstances, this Asian spread cannot turn into another worldwide pandemic. I was out last night, in a very crowded restaurant, taking in the final of Copa America. No one in that restaurant was giving airborne pathogens one bit of thought – which is both great and concerning at the same time.

  • Vamoose. Gelometer. Garrulity. Ambystoma. Shedu. Saxicolous. Thooid. These are just some of the words contestants of last week’s National Spelling Bee had to deal with to get through to the final round. I am reasonably educated, which obviously has no correlation with my intelligence level, but come on, who the heck can spell these words? The answer: many children, ages 12-14, who competed last week. It is just headshaking.

Regarding children, take a look at this three year-old playing with a symphony orchestra. He even drops a stick but continues on as if nothing happened – and at the 3:00 minute mark of the video, watch his drum solo. I have no words.

In a word: Talent.

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

America. Dealing With A Meltdown. Headlines. Mean Machine. Change It Up.

245 Years Ago. Alone In His City. Halfway Through 2021. Along Came A Spyder. She Is Magic!

  • A very happy 4th of July weekend to you and yours.  I hope that no one takes our Independence with a grain of salt, especially in light of some of the chaos and terrorism happening at home and abroad.  I was surprised that Independence Day was only declared a federal holiday in 1941, considering the United States is celebrating our 245th birthday.  On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence and two days later, on July 4, delegates from the thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted by the one and only Thomas Jefferson.  If you have a flag, fly it.  If you do not have one, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware have flag kits for under $15.00.  Buy a flag and fly it proudly.  To our Canadian friends: you celebrated Canada Day this past Thursday….and my experience with Canadians tells me most of you are still celebrating four days later.
Storing Flags
Enjoy your 4th of July!

  • Only ten years ago, on March 11, 2011, a deadly earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck northeastern Japan causing the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear facility, killing thousands, displacing hundreds of thousands, and unleashing widespread contamination. While we all acknowledged this tragedy, it is difficult for many of us to understand the impact and subsequent realities of a nuclear facility meltdown. On the ten-year anniversary of the tragic meltdown, Mayu Nakamura’s new documentary “Alone Again in Fukushima” was released and as Nakamura stated “this documentary was produced to ensure that all people around the world never forget the consequences of this tragedy.”

I watched this documentary last week. Reminders of what the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki faced seventy-six years ago transcended this documentary, focusing on one man who chose to remain in the nuclear zone to care for abandoned animals after everyone else was evacuated. An amazing, well-told story that reminds us of the vulnerability of our infrastructure. If you have a chance, take a hour to take in “Alone Again in Fukushima.

“Alone Again in Fukushima”

  • Mid-Year Headlines To Ponder – we are already halfway through 2021 so it is time to take a look at some headlines of concern. I do not know if the CDC and the WHO use Australia as a benchmark when weighing Covid-19 and the new variant viruses. What I do know is that I do not like what I am reading as we literally cannot afford another lockdown.
  • Britain’s COVID-19 Cases up 72% in the past week.
  • In Arkansas, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, cases are surging.
  • COVID-19 cases see increase, Orange County/Orlando leaders urge caution heading into 4th of July holiday.
  • White House to deploy response teams focused on combating Delta variant of Covid-19.
  • Australia’s NSW state says Delta outbreak grows despite lockdown.
  • Four of Australia’s eight capital cities are now under Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Covid Cases, Death Rates Jump In Los Angeles Ahead Of 4th Of July Gatherings; Top Health Official Warns, “Another Wave Could Become A Very Real Possibility”

  • I have never been big on needing or wanting ‘toys.’ I have had a couple of boats and sometimes have driven a decent looking car, but for the most part I have kept an even keel with my extracurricular wants and needs. With that said, a few years ago, for whatever the reason, I fell in love with the machine seen below. I don’t know why, as I am definitely not a fan of motorcycles, but the Can Am Spyder RT is a toy that I think I would enjoy. It just may be the forward-thinking design or my memory of my mean-machine tricycle.

There are a wide variety of viewpoints on the Spyder RT, and as a gut check, after a very interesting visit to a biker/dive bar near Osteen, Florida, I asked one of the bikers, dressed head-to-toe in black leather on a 93 degree day, what he thought about the the Spyder RT. His brief and terse reply cannot be printed in this blog. 🙂

2021 Can-Am® Spyder® RT Sea To Sky SE6 | Big #1 Motorsports
The Can Am Spyder RT.

  • Finally, a bit of levity on this 4th of July weekend as we go to a show I have only seen bits and pieces of over the years….and yes, there are some incredibly talented people that appear on America’s Got Talent. Thankfully, my compadres Joe and Samir are going to breakdown and explain how this young lady made this happen:
Does anyone want to explain this magic?

Adios, Fly Your Flag, Pay It Forward, Be Safe and Enjoy The 4th of July!

The Laser Pointer. No Mas. Due Process? MythBusters. Mind Games.

A Game Changer. “I Quit.” Our Tax Dollars At Work. What Our Parents Told Us. Thoughts And Prayers.

  • Just when you think former President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars program was “pie in the sky” – here comes the next advent of airborne defense systems. It seems like the Israelis have developed a weaponized laser system that they have initially tested on drones. The Israeli Air Force brass is calling this massive breakthrough “an effective apparatus that will intercept long-range threats at high altitudes regardless of weather conditions. ” There is no doubt that the United States will follow suit with this type of weapon – one that may quickly change the face of air defense systems.
Watch as the Israeli’s Laser Defense System “burns through” the drones.

  • Maybe time is the answer? After months pass by, or maybe a year, the playing field will hopefully level out. I am referring to people, by the thousands, deciding to quit their jobs while employers, especially in the hospitality industry, are practically begging people to come and work. Bloomberg reported that four million people quit their jobs in April – for reasons that included their preference not to go back to their offices (and their commute to and from), to feeling uncomfortable working in the hospitality industry and dealing with unruly customers. After taking a look at different opinions on the subject, I feel like this comment best sums up the situation: “We have changed. Work has changed. The way we think about time and space has changed,” says Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of the book Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding From Anywhere. Workers now crave the flexibility given to them in the pandemic — which had previously been unattainable.” Will this mindset become the status quo, or will time heal all?

  • What really is ‘due process?” I believe strongly in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but I am having a very difficult time with the ‘due process’ that will be afforded to Othal Wallace. Wallace is not a first-time offender of the law. Wallace belongs to a militia-hate group. Last week, after being pulled over by a Daytona Beach police officer, Wallace shot the officer in the head, tore off his body camera, got back in his car and fled the scene. After a massive manhunt from hundreds of law enforcement officers, Wallace was found hiding outside of Atlanta – with an armory of guns, ammunition, and body armor. When arrested, Wallace stated “You guys know who I am. You know what I am capable of. It could’ve been a lot worse.” It could have been worse? Worse than you shooting a police officer in the head and leaving him to suffer on the street?

I am having a very difficult time reconciling the ‘due process’ that will be afforded to this low life of a human. It is more than just our tax dollars that will be used to try and convict Wallace. It is more about the reality, the process, and the disgust I feel towards this coward of a man. It is how I feel about that police officer, fighting for his life, with his family by his hospital bedside. Some of my close friends would say “fry him”…but to me that process just takes too damn long.

  • A friend reminded me of the directives (myths) our parents, teachers and coaches gave us at one time or another.
  • Waiting to swim for at least thirty minutes after eating – no, no, and not necessary. This myth probably started a hundred years ago but healthcare specialists stated that swimming after eating is not dangerous.
  • If you go outside with wet hair on a cold day, you will catch a cold – that is not going to happen as colds are caused by viruses. You might shimmy and shake, but catching a cold is a myth.
  • Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis – debunked. After years of study, hand doctors found no correlation. Thankfully.
Parents are ALWAYS the smartest people in the room!

  • It is interesting how your mind works. After last week’s devastating collapse of the north Miami condominium building, my mind flooded with thoughts and images of what everyone affected is going through. What crossed my mind? Sadness and heartbreak. I am a Miami native. The building I live in, near Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, was one of the first high rises built in this area. There are active and ongoing structural repairs taking place on my building in the lower-level garage under the pool deck. Yes, the mind sometimes goes into the scramble mode.

My thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the building collapse.

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

Remembering Dad. Pondering. Percussion. Schedule.

Honor Thy Father. Top Five Thoughts. There Is Only One Sheila E. A Sunday Of Sports.

  • No matter your age, you are very lucky if you still have your father. No matter the level of relationship, your father should be recognized and remembered today.

My father was a great man. Though his work ethic was remarkable, and he enjoyed the challenge of his job every day, he never made a great deal of money. His priority was always the family, making sure that we had a comfortable home and the general conveniences afforded to my mother, Aunt Kay, and my older brother. He was okay with my mom making most or all of the household decisions, but when a decision was made, he was the one who made it happen. One example is Aunt Kay, who along with her husband, were longtime friends of my parents. When Aunt Kay’s husband unexpectedly passed away, it was my father who made the final decision to ask her to come and join our family. I was barely two years old, and subsequently had the benefit of living with two moms, both very different from one another.

Due to my dad’s work schedule, he could not attend most of my club or high school soccer games as most were played in the afternoon. When on a rare occasion we did play a night game, my dad was always there, very proud of me in my uniform and being part of a team. He did not know a great deal about soccer, but I do remember what he said to me before a night game: “I want you to be a leader and impose your will on that field.” That comment has stuck with me forever – through both sport and business. My dad was never afforded those opportunities as a youngster, as he was raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant (a.k.a. Bed-Stuy), a diverse area of Brooklyn, New York, where his father, who came to the United States from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was involved in the “rag” business. There is a lot more to that story, but I will leave that for another time.

For the most part an affable man, my father was loved by all in my neighborhood. He loved my girlfriends, and jostled with my guy friends, who sometimes forgot that my dad boxed in a New York City AAU program. His go-to slap was the slip punch, which my friends, playfully sparring with my dad, would unfortunately experience. My dad was a bit like Archie Bunker, influenced by his upbringing, his service in the Korean War, and our neighborhood in Miami – a diverse mix of working-class culture. Though he had his opinions, my dad’s tipping point was respect. No matter one’s race or religion, my dad had no time for anyone being disrespectful. I found that out the hard way, when for some stupid reason I decided to back-talk my mother. Trust me, it was the one and only time I made that mistake.

My dad passed away at the young age of sixty-five. His passing left a big void for my mom and Aunt Kay – a void that I could not fulfill no matter my effort and resources. No matter – take today of all days to pay some respect to all fathers around the world.

  • Five Things I Am Thinking About
  1. The changing of leadership in Israel after all those years of Netanyahu.
  2. Will the vaccines help mitigate the variant viruses now roaming the earth?
  3. What is the outcome of the Biden – Putin summit?
  4. Wimbledon without two of the best players in the world.
  5. Fathers around the world.

  • It was most likely thirty-five years ago and the venue was The Omni -Atlanta, Georgia’s central city arena before it was replaced by what is now the awesome State Farm Arena. I was dragged to The Omni to watch Lionel Richie, who I really enjoyed when he was with The Commodores, but really disliked as a solo artist. Little did I know that the opening act was this young, beautiful singer and percussionist by the name of Sheila E. She was in a word memorizing, from her glamorous looks to her incredible ability on the drums. Twenty minutes into her opening act I was really hoping that she was the only act – and in the video below, some thirty-five years later, you can see why:
Sheila E. was known as “The Queen of Percussion.”

  • My last post covered the feeling of returning to a level of normalcy, fueled by the return of worldwide sporting events. Last night was all about the NBA playoffs and Orlando City, and today, on Father’s Day, we have Euro, Copa America, Atlanta United, the U.S. Open, and the 7th game of the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with the Atlanta Hawks battling Philadelphia. An amazing sports day, on Father’s Day, to help us forget about the tough go we all had for the last sixteen months. Let’s go Hawks!

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and Happy Father’s Day!!

A Busy Time. Opening Ceremony. Pay It Forward. Lobster Rock.

A Summer Of Sport. I Wish I Could Sing. There Are Some Good Things Happening. Moby Dick Is At It Again.

  • I am thinking that the Covid-19 pandemic had and will continue to have long-term ramifications. Obviously, the healthcare issues are sad and worrisome but the ill-effects of the last sixteen months are widespread. Businesses initially laying off hundreds of thousands of employees and now basically begging people to work is problematic in many ways. Projects that were put on hold are now restarting but only at the pace of entities finding people to work. Our healthcare workers and first responders certainly have been thrown sideways – but thankfully hospitals’ intensive care units are starting to have more capacity. Though there seems to be a level of general anxiety, the economy and the vaccine have now provided a runway for all of us to get back to a level of normalcy.

A leading indicator of the ‘return to normal’ for me is the sporting world. It was only a year ago that major sporting events were being postponed (The Summer Olympic Games for one) and in some cases cancelled. Twelve months later, with countries once again opening up, we can again enjoy a summer filled with sports – maybe to a point of saturation, but we will take that over last summer any time. At a first glance:

  • Major League Baseball – ongoing into the Fall.
  • Major League Soccer – after an international break, there was one game yesterday and more this coming weekend.
  • Euro 2020 – postponed from last summer, it started Friday thru July 11.
  • The U.S. Open – June 17 -20 at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
  • Copa America – the main men’s football tournament contested among national teams from CONMEBOL (South America). June 13-July 10.
  • Tour de France – June 26 – July 18.
  • Wimbledon – June 28 – July 11.
  • Stanley Cup Finals – June 29 – July 15 (if it goes 7 games).
  • The Gold Cup – the main football competition of teams governed by CONCACAF, determining the champion of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. July 2- August 1.
  • NBA Finals – July 8 – 22. (if it goes 7 games).
  • The Open Championship – July 15 – 18 at Royal St. George’s Golf Course in Sandwich, Kent, England.
  • The Summer Olympic Games – July 23 – August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
  • NFL preseason starts – August 5.
  • The Premier League starts – August 14.
  • The Paralympic Games – August 24 – September 5 in Tokyo, Japan.
  • College Football starts – August 28.
  • U.S. Open Tennis Championship – August 30 – September 12.
  • The Ryder Cup – September 24-26 at Whistling Straits near Kohler, Wisconsin.

Note: Yesterday’s Euro match between Denmark and Finland reminded all of us that life is way more important than competition and sport. The medical emergency with Denmark’s Christian Eriksen gave all of us a dose of reality. Most of us have at one time or another been trained in CPR – but after yesterday, PLEASE WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO. Four minutes of your time may help save a life.

Please watch this video.

  • As mentioned in the list above, the postponed 2020 Euro Championship opened up on Friday with Italy versus Turkey. With this opening ceremony and game at Rome’s Stadio Olympico, there could be no one better to kick off the tournament than Andrea Bocelli. He is remarkable, with a booming voice, cool sunglasses, and a tuxedo that I am sure was custom-made by Armani. Listen and watch Bocelli, the world’s most popular living tenor, perform Puccini’s ‘Nessun dorma.’ Another remarkable performance in a simple, but well done opening ceremony:
I cannot pull of the sunglasses or the tux, and I certainly cannot sing……
  • We have all heard about the good, bad, and ugly with the behavior of some professional athletes. It seems to be a combination of money and the people they surround themselves with, which has often led to some very bad decisions. There are also many great stories of professional athletes doing the right thing, contributing to charities and causes that make a difference. Here is one of them and it involves a Utah Jazz player, Jordan Clarkson. Yes, he paid it forward:
A great gesture from Jordan Clarkson.

  • Speaking of summer, let’s take a look at a Whale of a Story:
His new name is Jonah.

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

Enough. The AR-15. Suspended In Water.

Just Stop The Abusive Language.

  • I am not a hypocrite. Foul language is not foreign to me. If you have played sports, including soccer, for over fifty years, you say and hear plenty of expletives on the court or the field. In many cases, foul language becomes the vernacular of competitive tension and the pressure to overcome.

To me, there is a time and place that using foul language ‘makes sense’ – but NEVER when children are around….and I mean never. This issue has bubbled up over the years with Mexican National Team supporters, who scream a homophobic slur when the opposing goalkeeper takes a goal kick. The word is slang for a male prostitute, and has no place at stadiums filled with families, including children. I am not picking on Mexico or Mexicans. The chanting of profanity at players or referees is stateside as well. The ongoing NBA playoffs witnessed New York Knick fans chanting profanities at one or more Atlanta Hawks’ players. The fans sitting in supporter sections of Major League Soccer teams unleash profanity-laced chants that to me are uncomfortable at best, especially when I am sitting with fans that include children.

This all has to come to a dead stop. Playing soccer for five decades, I have unleashed my fair share of obscenities, but on the field or court and not in the earshot of children. Again, I am not a hypocrite or shy to the use of foul language, but I feel strongly that this epidemic of fan behavior at arenas and stadiums needs to once and for all come to an immediate stop. Executives from Major League Soccer, the NFL and the NBA: what is your take?

A Swiss Army Knife.

  • After putting a decent amount of thought into last week’s post that provided my take on the 2nd Amendment, a California federal judge has overturned California’s ban on assault rifles. He compared the AR-15 assault rifle to a “Swiss Army knife,” the weapon of choice for numerous mass shooters, including in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Route 91 Harvest musical festival in Las Vegas, a massacre at a church in Texas, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the high school in Parkland, Florida, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, among others. I really have nothing else to say in the matter other than the word ‘outrageous.’

Headlines To Ponder.

  • There are still people trying to breach the cockpit of an airliner?
  • The USA’s Simone Biles. Bar none, the best gymnast ever.
  • A Mexican city’s mayoral candidate is wanted by the DEA.
  • “Vax for the Win” lotteries.
  • The PGA tour’s Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.
  • Florida bans transgender athletes from female sports.
  • Kanye West’s Yeezy sneakers sold for $1.8 million.
  • Surfing pet goat coolly rides the waves at California beach.
  • The Orlando area’s I-4 project will never end. Never.
  • Trae Young, Damian Lilliard, and Kawhi Leonard. Fantastic.
  • AMC’s valuation is a date with derangement.
  • Man accused of killing iguana claims Florida ‘stand your ground’ law.

Pool Design Comes Of Age.

  • The question is not whether ideas are crazy, but whether they are crazy enough.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe and have a Funday Sunday. And yes, Go Hawks!

Salute The Fallen. Live Events Are Back! Something Is Amiss. Yes Or No. The “King’s” Gambit.

Please Fly Your Flag.

  • For a few reasons, tomorrow is the most important Holiday in the United States.  Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May and was formerly known as Decoration Day.  Memorial Day commemorates all men and women who have died in military service for the United States. Please honor our fallen veterans and fly your flag; if you don’t have one please go buy one.

Sammy Rocks.

  • Live events. We probably took them for granted before the onslaught of the pandemic, but there is definite momentum, supported by the vaccine, to get people back into sports arenas and stadiums, conventions, expositions, conferences, and thankfully live performance venues. Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center is one of many venues that pivoted quickly to keep live events moving forward with their ‘Frontyard Festival’ set up, using their outdoor space to create safe “pods” for audiences to enjoy all types of performances. Last week, headliner Sammy Hagar, along with Vince Neil, butchered this famous song, but no one cared as the joy and fun of a live event and concert was back after too long of a hiatus.

The Governor’s Question.

  • Ethics. Morals. Values. Principles. Respect. Character. Dignity. Integrity. Conscience. Accountability. They are just words but have never resonated more when considering the issues involving the pandemic, vote counts, unscrupulous politicians, socio-economic firestorms, vaccines, and most importantly violence.

After last Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Jose, California Governor Gavin Newsom asked a question and made a statement that all of us want answers to: ” What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us and when are we going to come to grips with this?” Governor Newsom: the same statement and question has been asked way too many times. As a reminder, the definition of insanity is asking the same thing over and over again without a result, so making general statements and asking questions about gun violence have unfortunately fallen on deaf ears. Yes, I have been told loud and clear that people kill people, not guns, but that fact should not detract from dealing with the sheer violence that has taken place in the U.S. year-to-date.

Last Wednesday’s gunman had three semi-automatic weapons and 11 magazines when he killed nine co-workers. Twelve firearms and 22,000 rounds of ammo were found at the gunman’s home. While I support the 2nd Amendment, and working with the underlying premise that people kill people, not guns, I think the purpose of the 2nd Amendment has long been taken out of context. I feel strongly that people should have the right to bear arms for two reasons, and two reasons only: 1) as personal protection, and 2) for hunting/sporting reasons. So while the right to “bear arms” is part of our Bill of Rights, is it necessary and smart for people to have access to automatic and semi-automatic weapons along with the ability to obtain thousands of rounds of ammunition? This question has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with sense and sensibility in the year 2021, not 332 years ago when the Bill of Rights were written.

Here is what I do know: a mass shooting is defined as any incident that involves multiple victims of gun violence. By that definition, there have been two hundred thirty (232) mass shootings THIS year. Wednesday’s tragedy in San Jose again calls to attention the need for action – not just words.

Yes or No?

  • There is a great deal of discussion regarding employers demanding or requesting their employees be vaccinated – to the point of ad nauseum. Maybe the graphic below sums it up?
Can employers make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)


  • The mini-series “The Queen’s Gambit” follows the life of a chess prodigy, Elizabeth Harmon, during her quest to become the world’s greatest chess player while struggling with emotional problems, drugs and alcohol dependency. This mini-series was very well done, and though the episodes gave us insight into the world of competitive chess, the series was based on a book and is fictional in nature.

Now we get to learn more about a real chess champion, 9-year-old Tani Adewumi, who along with his family, settled into a New York City homeless shelter after fleeing Nigeria. Fifteen months after arriving in the United States, with no prior knowledge or understanding of the game, Tani was crowned the New York chess champion. Looking for inspiration? Listen to Tani in this video – amazing to say the least.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe and have a Funday Sunday…..and Go Hawks!

Headlines. Speed Kills.

You Can’t Be Serious? Amazing Pace.

  • A few headlines to ponder:

China Insists Shaking Skyscraper is Safe as Building Continues to Wobble. I am sure the credible information from the building’s architects and engineers will convince office workers to return. 🙂

Millions of Mice are Swarming Australian Towns. Now There’s a Plan To End the Plague With Poison. I would assume that PETA is now involved?

Comedian Performs for Gatorland’s Alligators in a New Special. Only in Florida can anyone ‘perform’ for any alligator. Odd, to say the least.

Big Alligator Joins Drive-Thru Line at Texas Taco Shop. Speaking of odd…

Dictator Kim Jong-Un Bans Mullets and Skinny Jeans. With all things considered, this is top of mind to govern the North Korean population?

Two Elderly Men Sneak Out Of A Nursing Home To Attend Heavy Metal Festival. Maybe Nine Inch Nails does resonate with the elderly?

And finally, and maybe of most importance: No, Asking For Your Vaccination Status is Not a HIPAA Violation. As I have mentioned in one or more posts, how will private businesses and entities use this ruling with customers, attendees, passengers, and employees?

  • Inspiration

I played soccer for (too) many years. I had the privilege and honor of playing with and against many players who had tremendous pace – speed that both surprised and amazed me. There is a saying in sport that speed compensates for the lack of other attributes – and soccer is no different. Speed to me is astonishing and to witness it firsthand is quite shocking. I will never forget playing a practice match inside Kennesaw State University’s 400-meter track as their track team was training. The incredible sound generated from these remarkable track athletes basically stopped our match as both teams looked in wonderment at their sheer speed.

There are now and previously many great U.S. Olympic track teams that gave all of us enjoyment and medals at previous Olympic Games. Then I consider the small island of Jamaica and the number of male and female sprinters that have come from this Caribbean paradise. To me it is remarkable that a country of less than 3 million people can generate the number of world-class sprinters…many who have claimed Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals. It has been nine years or so, but I will never forget the 2012 Olympic Games, with Usain Bolt anchoring Jamaica’s 4 x 100 relay team. Their sheer speed, timing, and seamless handoffs were remarkable – along with Bolt’s 100-meter leg that saw him blow away his opponents. Teamwork is a great inspiration for me. Move the cursor to the 1:30 mark.

How does a small island nation produce world-class sprinters year after year?

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday! Note: Memorial Day is celebrated a week from tomorrow – please fly the flag.

The DarkSide. Ponder This.

An Energy Executive’s View. A Few Items On My Mind. “I’ve Got This.”

  • Along with the rest of the craziness happening worldwide, the Southeast United States endured a week-long gasoline nightmare with Russian hackers taking down the Colonial Pipeline supply lines. Gas stations out of fuel, long lines of cars waiting to fill their tanks, and tempers flaring from Pensacola to Roanoke. After many days of uneasiness, it seems the Colonial Pipeline, after reports of the company having to pay a “ransomware” up to $5M, is back up and running, with fuel trucks back on the road hopefully providing a level of normalcy.

We are all asking questions about IT infrastructure and redundancy, and how hackers from Russia named DarkSide could use the internet to shut down systems running Colonial’s fuel pipeline. The exact methodology of how hackers like DarkSide accomplish this needs to be answered by a much higher authority, but the reality of the situation poses even more questions of greater magnitude – and that is our electrical grid system. For a much better take on the subject of electricity, I asked my friend Tracy, an executive with a leading energy provider, to give us her insight into the world of power and sustainability:

We need to take this Colonial Pipeline hack seriously and we need to prioritize protecting our critical energy resources. ‘We’ includes both the Federal Government as well as the private sector. My focus/job is more on our electric grid and renewable energy dependency. I live in Texas and we learned a hard lesson on the value of electricity to provide not only power, but to pump natural gas and water during what we now so fondly call “Snowpocalypse.” Hopefully most will not have to learn the lesson the way we did.

What I think we need to remain focused on is the balance between green and brown power and the importance of both. Our reliability on green power is growing across the U.S. and I think that is the right direction in which to move. We do need to consider the threats of relying on renewables (Wind and Solar). What happens when there is a cloud cover? The wind stops blowing? Or hackers shut down the wind and solar farms? We rely on grid power. I think we need all of it so we have more than one resource to rely on and people are not left without electricity. It doesn’t just keep us from having the lights on, it costs lives.

One final note, if you haven’t read “Ready Player One,” I highly recommend it and I don’t mean watch the movie…in the book the entire premise is the crash of the electric grid. The setting is: In the year 2045, the world is gripped by an energy crisis and global warming, causing widespread social problems and economic stagnation. 2045? 2025? And that’s MY take.

As Tracy mentions, we have all experienced the uncomfortable and sometimes dire situation of being without power, for as little as an hour or sometimes for days. Heavy storm systems and other variables have shut down power grids around the world so what happens when the same happens ‘on demand,’ or in other words a hacker like DarkSide uses keystrokes to target a specific city’s electrical grids? Unlikely to happen?

I know, it sounds like a plot from a Bruce Willis action movie, but The Department of Homeland Security has recently disclosed new details about the extent to which Russia has infiltrated “critical infrastructure” like American power plants, water facilities, and gas pipelines. So while we experience fuel shortages from a hack of pipeline, the taking down of multiple electrical grid systems for long periods of time would disrupt every part of our daily lives. Many of us previously shrugged our shoulders at the term “Cyber Warfare.” The event last week quickly reminded us that the term is very real.

Things To Ponder:

  • Has anyone looked into Bob Baffert’s horse training methodology?
  • Delta Air Lines requiring all new hires to be vaccinated. Questions?
  • How good are the Atlanta Hawks? Very.
  • A BOLO (you know what a BOLO is) – for a Tiger roaming Houston, Texas.
  • 2,000 years of conflict in the Middle East – will it ever end?
  • Mask off. The CDC thinks the honor system will work?
  • ARod and JLo are finally quiet. Good luck Ben.
  • A Friends reunion. Yawn.
  • A Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer reunion. Again a yawn.
  • For a final note, a feel good moment. If you are having a tough day watch this video…and remember “I’ve Got This.”
“I’ve Got This.”

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