Normalcy Optimism. Strong Relationships. Thanks.

What are you thankful for?

NOTE:  I want to thank a guest writer, G.W., for offering up his "Take" for this week's post. Very much appreciated.  

It would be hard to author MY take the Sunday after Thanksgiving without noting some.  I’m going to start with the strangest one.  I’m thankful for having had a mild case of the Covid virus because I was able to board a plane and fly to a different State.  I went to visit my 82-year-old Mom, my sisters and some extended family last week seemingly without much risk of infecting anyone.  I hadn’t seen them in almost a year.

I am thankful for Covid shutting down my local pubs for a little while because I gained an appreciation for and like of the taste of bourbon.  Not that I needed any further drinking habits or excuses for imbibing, but hey, that stuff is pretty good.  I hope you all got some new “thanks” during this Covid time.

Do relationships lead to happiness?  Or at least thankfulness?

Looking at that graph, I see relationships playing a major role in at least the following items:  #1 Family, #3 Friends, #4 Memories, #6 Fun experiences.  I’m sure if I wanted to be creative, I could put forth some arguments about relationships contributing to Stability, Opportunities, Achievements and Wealth.  Most of those things are hard to do by yourself.  Health and Personal freedom might be the only two that would be more of a stretch to tie to a relationship cause-effect.

I think I might link most of my thanks in life to the relationships that I have.  Family, friends, mentors, colleagues, teammates, customers.  My daughter got me started on the bourbon.  Those relationships bring me different perspectives, innovation, experience, enjoyment, history, partnerships.  The strength of those relationships is the differentiator between people who are close to me and a mere acquaintance.  The foundation of that strength was established through face-to-face interaction.

I feel bad for people whose primary relationship building is founded on digital interaction.  Sarcasm, body language, voice intonation, those little moments, sharing the physical environment are things you simply don’t experience in the digital world.  They miss out on so much.

How is a concert, sporting event, smile, shoulder shrug, scream, observation or sarcastic remark experienced with all the same potential impact on relationships in the digital world?  How do you share your thoughts on that particularly attractive person you see walking to get your hot dog at the soccer game in a digital world?  What do you learn about your friend based on their comments about the same view of a sunset or crazy behavior of your significant other?  Those experiences are difference makers that allow you to really understand someone.

Return to normalcy?

I am very optimistic that things will eventually return to normal travel, use of the hospitality industry and face-to-face interaction.  Maybe it will only be 95% the same, but I definitely don’t think it will be the dramatic change (<50%) some seem to predict for the manner in which people, businesses and family interact.

I don’t think I am an outlier in terms of being a social animal.  I believe humans are social animals and need that facetime.  Look at the failure rates of students in remote learning environments.  Sooner or later, the scientists, psychiatrists and counselors are going to say, “we need to get back to normal face-to-face interaction.” 

I believe the business world, if it remains capitalistic and competitive, will also drive a return to normal travel, office occupancy and face-to-face meetings.  The reason: strength of relationships creating a better product, sales environment or winning way.  Businesses all must innovate and close business to stay sustainable.  I have noticed a significant difference between the relationships I have developed in the last 8 months.  They are different, typically less developed, than the ones that were initiated only 12 months ago with an initial face-to-face meeting. 

Those relationships involve colleagues, customers and business partners.  I can’t even say that I have developed a new relationship with a non-business-oriented person since the world went almost 100% digital.  While we must deal with the world as it exists, I am convinced it is only some matter of time before we will return to normal.

Adios, be safe, it’s just MY take, pay it forward and have a Funday Sunday!!


Unprecedented. Uncanny. Unbelievable.

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL of you.  Fortunately most of us had the opportunity to watch Diego Maradona play.  Many of us remember him for his ‘hand of God’ goal against England, but what I remember is the other goal, where he gathered the ball in his own half…..and you know the rest.

ESPN quickly put together this piece on him – if you have not seen this yet, it is very well done.

I have watched Diego’s warm up before the ’89 UEFA Semi many times…..and with his passing, I can’t think of a more appropriate send off.  Three days of mourning in Argentina and up to 1.5 million people expected to gather for his memorial.  Diego….was Diego.   

RIP Diego Maradona.

Adios. Enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend.

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.


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”.


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.


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 |
Sir Sean Connery.


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


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.



  • 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!!