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. .

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, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word HURRICANES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 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.

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.

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


Wait, What?

Fitness and nutrition information can be really puzzling. Hundreds of companies, some small and some getting very big, very fast, have latched onto the world of nutrition and fitness with programs, apps, diets, and meal programs. My son-in-law is with Noom, an award-winning weight-loss program designed by psychologists and scientifically proven to create real, sustainable results. Noom is growing fast, with a remarkable app that you can use to manage everything from food intake to daily fitness regimes. There are many more programs and apps, including Weight Watchers reinventing itself to become more relevant to different demographics.

Noom Coach
The Noom app has a tremendous amount of information.

While we have all the information at our fingertips, I am constantly reminded by fitness trainers, doctors, friends, and enemies that all things food are not equal. I heed all warnings about foods I eat, then ultimately get frustrated that everything I am eating is terrible for me, and usually succumb to a meal or three that really are not the best choices…..with a huge smile on my face. I can always rationalize that I have cut back on some things so usually I feel great about my nutrition (not).

I decided to do my own research on a number of things I have been told lately. In no particular order:

Eat more bananas, they are good for you. Reality: Although the sugars are natural, bananas will give a quick sugar boost, resulting in a crash around mid-morning. This will make you feel more tired and more hungry, and the banana will have done more harm than good. Take me for example. Very early in the morning, I was eating ‘healthy’ yogurt with blueberries, nuts, and a banana. What I did not realize is though the yogurt was relatively low in calories and carbohydrates, the sugar content (their are TWO lines of sugar on each container) was way too high. Blended with the very high sugar content in bananas and blueberries, I was eating almost twice the daily allowance of sugar before 8am. NOT good.

Drink more green smoothies, they are good for you. Same as above – you better watch the amount of sugar in the ingredients of that protein smoothie or shake. I guess you just go with spinach, carrots, almond milk, and just a few strawberries. Leave the honey, banana, and chocolate syrup alone.

Protein bars. This one haunts me to no end. I was a huge protein bar consumer, thinking of these as “nutritional” and healthy. Reality: Protein can be a great way to fuel muscle, but most protein bars are hardly health food. Between belly-bloating soy, sodium, artificial colors, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, most protein bars are potential saboteurs to your well-being. Those sugar-free or low-carb protein bars are no better. Research published in the Yale Journal of Medicine links the artificial sweeteners used to flavor many low-sugar foods to an increased risk for weight gain and sugar cravings.

Coconut water. I live in sub-Sahara Africa, also referred to as Orlando, Florida, so keeping hydrated is incredibly important when being outside at anytime of the day. Unless I am in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, a non-alligator lake, or pool, I am constantly trying to down as much fluid as possible. This includes coconut water, which I was told was incredibly good for you and helped with preventing dehydration. Then I find this: A single cup of coconut water packs 15 grams of sugar. While it’s better to sip on coconut water than other sugary drinks, many doctors agree that coconut water should be used in great moderation. So, back to full-time water consumption.

Margarine, not butter. I can hear a friend from Alpharetta, Georgia yelling at me from afar. For many years, I was told to use margarine, not butter. Reality: I won’t go into the finite details, but margarine is no bueno. Recommending trans fat-laden margarine instead of natural butter may be considered some of the worst nutrition advice in history. Parkay this.

Diets. Weight Watchers, Noom, South Beach, low carb, high fiber, Mediterranean, anti-inflammatory, intermittent fasting……talk about mixed messages, the list goes on and on.

I could go on forever. My regular doc, who is disturbingly quiet but a very serious physician, has relatively demanded that all patients follow an anti-inflammatory ‘diet’, purchasing “80% of food in the vegetable/fruit section” of the grocery store. He asked me to research the longevity of Asians as well as the people located in the Mediterranean regions to learn about their food habits and diet.

Per my physician’s suggestion, I searched for Mediterranean diets one night, feel asleep after the second sentence that referred to high fiber, kale, cabbage, squid, nuts, tzatziki sauce and sorbet, and woke up the next morning to a bowl of Captain Crunch and chocolate milk. Stay healthy my friends.

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

Let’s Go With Some Levity.

We Are Going To Keep It On the Lighter Side This Week.

Design, creativity, the arts, and especially music. The majority of my business life has been in the experiential marketing space. You can call it what you want, such as the world of branded or presence marketing, but in essence my existence in the business world has always relied on creativity. On the music side of things, I have explained that my late brother and neighborhood friends were my inspiration for the variety of music I enjoy. As I have mentioned, my brother’s menu of music was pre-hairband rock, but my neighborhood friends always listened to funk, soul, and Top 40. I remember my parents, much to my wonderment, attended the opera a few times as my father was a huge fan of Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. At one time or another I have heard these two perform and though my appreciation for their music is limited, I do recognize that they are amazing. So as I think back, and recognizing the talent of these two tenors, I wish I could have been in attendance to listen to someone I really enjoyed, The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Talking about an amazing performance….I have no idea what type of talent you must have to pull this off:

The Queen of Soul… the right place at the right time.

I have pointed out my disdain for people who do not respect wild animals and feel it is their right to get into the animal’s space or surroundings. I have posted about people taking photos too close to wild animals, but this video made my day. Just two brothers from Karachi taking a car ride. Some of the comments on the video below are priceless:

  1. “The day you stop uploading…we know why.”
  2. “Imagine some thief trying to rob their house.”
  3. “Bet they do not have to lock their doors at night.”
  4. “Uber stepping up their security I see.”
When you don’t want dogs anymore 😂

The “17’s” are upset. The “17’s”, the supporters of Atlanta United, have torched social media channels voicing their displeasure with the manager and the players. My say: while frustrating and sometimes a bit difficult to watch, you would have to be short sighted to think that with the roster changes, the move to an interim manager, and Josef Martinez’s season-ending injury, the team could duplicate 2018 and 2019. Does Atlanta miss Parkhurst, Nagbe, Meram, Gressel, Villalba and Pirez? Yes, absolutely but the sale of Pity Martinez and the pending sale of Ezequiel Barco opens up an opportunity for the team to pickup a dynamic and dominate attacking midfielder. It will happen and the results will slowly start to get people smiling again. Last night’s comeback against Orlando – hopefully a good sign for Atlanta United.

Chadwick Boseman passed away after a long fight with colon cancer. Best known for his starring role in Black Panther, his long list of roles in some very good movies is amazing. By chance, I had the fun opportunity to watch him in the biopic Get Up, a very good look at the life of James Brown. Boseman was fantastic and also showed his tremendous talent with leading roles in 42 and Thurgood. RIP Chadwick Boseman.

Chadwick Boseman portraying James Brown.

Best “to the point” headline I have read since the start of Covid-19: I REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE.

Labor Day is tomorrow. Celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labor Day is designated to pay tribute to the achievements of American workers. Of all years to recognize Labor Day, it would be the world of the strange 2020. A special tribute to all healthcare workers and first responders. Please everyone, fly your flag.

Flag of the United States of America | Britannica

Adios, pay it forward, be safe and have a great Labor Day weekend.