Revenge Travel. Scum. Updates. Talented Guitarist.

Pent-Up Demand. Dishonest Dirtbags. A Look At Previous Takes. Grohl Does It Right.

  • It still may be difficult for some to imagine taking a flight to a destination of choice. There may be no difference in thinking about the seaside bed and breakfast or VRBO on a mountain lake. My take is that you better start thinking about travel right now as those low airfares and hotel fares are about to skyrocket.

Industry experts have coined the phrase “revenge travel” but call it what you want. The many months of people either not wanting to or unable to travel are going to come to an end once the vaccine of choice penetrates our upper arm. The pent-up demand, from both a business and casual travel standpoint have never been higher, and with airlines and hotels dealing with low capacities, they are all savoring what many think is going to be an onslaught of travel later this year. “Revenge travel” – you might want to book your vacation right now.

If “revenge travel” does drive travel activity in both the business and leisure sectors, the investment play may not necessarily be with the airline and hotel companies, but with the travel technology companies that do the behind the scenes work. It might be worth a look at companies similar to Amadeus, Ovation, Travelopro, and Expensify as it would seem their growth would dovetail with this pent-up demand being satisfied. Then again, who really knows what the markets are going to do?

  • Over the last year I have made a pledge to support locally-owned businesses, especially restaurants. I don’t need to remind anyone what the pandemic has done to small businesses, with many ceasing operations. Some restaurants, who ramped up their ability to fulfill to-go orders, have so far made it through a very tough time, and await the day where all of us have been vaccinated. Then I read about a family-owned restaurant in Los Angeles and the devastating result of some dishonest customers. From the L.A. Times: “… as restaurants increasingly receive takeout orders online and through apps, they face a new challenge called “friendly fraud” or “chargebacks.” In the scam, a customer orders food, often through a delivery service, then receives their meal, but disputes the charge with their credit card company to get a refund.” I have no words for people who do this to any type of business but I do have a couple of old friends in Miami that would enjoy the chance to meet people like you.

Updates to previous takes:

  • White Castle fail – all of us health food crazies were so excited about White Castle offering up delivery of their special food in the Orlando area. It seems that “… incredible demand overwhelmed their ability to deliver” so after one day they have shut down their delivery service from their “ghost kitchen”. White Castle management now says they will reopen when their first area restaurant opens in May. I am not a conspiracy theorist but is White Castle being on the up and up with this closure or was this a publicity stunt gone massively wrong?
  • The vaccine supply chain and General Perna – I sung the praises of General Perna with his experience and his command of the supply chain. While he did bring the vaccine to fruition and the distribution to the state level seemed on strategy, the inability of states to handle the lack of inventory against the demand is worrisome.
  • Tiger – after watching the two-part HBO series on Tiger Woods, some of his personality fails come to light. His way back to fame included the win at the 2019 Masters but last December he underwent another back surgery. What happened last week raised some eyebrows but the L.A. County Sheriff’s office has called his car wreck an accident. Tiger may never play again after sustaining those awful leg injuries – but reality states that he is lucky to be alive. Godspeed Tiger – you have a young family to take care of so all the best to a successful recovery.
  • I received many replies and comments to my ask for a “no social media day.” As you can imagine, the age of the responders correlated directly with their naysay or support for this one-day a year initiative. Come on, its one day!
  • Mars – the photos and video being beamed back from Mars’ surface is really incredible. Kudos to NASA and Perseverance for pulling this off under the close watch of every entity involved with space exploration.
  • Godzilla and Kong – enough said. I am not happy but all are invited to my HBO Max watch party…
  • DST – We have two weeks to go to Daylight Savings Time. Let’s Go!

I leave you with a feel good moment from a few years ago. I bring you back to the Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City when band leader Dave Grohl invited a 10-year-old boy up on stage. The boy, Collier, come to find out, has battled a plethora of diseases, including a life-threatening ailment, but it is obvious from this video that nothing can stand in his way. With respect to Dave Grohl, James Hetfield’s version of Enter Sandman sounds a bit better, but a huge shout out to Grohl for doing the right thing after Collier is done playing:

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

Things I Think.

$340 Million. Power Up. Bite-Size Burgers. A Marketer’s Dream. Media Manipulation? Join The Team.

  • Fernando Tatis Jr. agreed to a 14-year, $340 million contract extension with the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, securing one of the largest guarantees in American sports history. Good for Tatis Jr., his family and of course his agent, and with that said it is getting a bit old listening to professional sports teams and their owners whine about the pandemic’s effect on the balance sheet. Sure, Tatis Jr. has become one of the stars of baseball, and yes, I told everyone about Lionel Messi’s new contract with Barcelona, but these numbers are staggering.
  • Godspeed to everyone affected by last week’s cold weather that put millions of people in peril with no power and to some degree no running water. Amazing that in 2021 we can land another rover on Mars but cannot implement redundancy with our power grids and systems. I am not slamming our power companies, as they are working around the clock to restore power, I am just pointing out that from a technology standpoint, it is time for some very smart people to figure this issue out so it never happens again. A friend in the power industry has committed to a guest column giving all of us insight into the ‘business of power’ in the United States. I don’t know much but I really have no clue of how power is sold and bought around the world.
  • A sign of the pandemic times where people are looking for ‘small wins’: I have heard more than a few people excited about an offering on the food delivery front. White Castle, known for those incredibly healthy and delicious little burgers, is building their largest store to date in Orlando, Florida. To celebrate and promote their new store, their commissary in Orlando has announced that those White Castle burgers will be available for delivery from various store-to-door delivery companies. This is a small win?
  • I have not done a ‘background check’ on Naomi Osaka, and unless there is some hidden demon from her past, this young lady is a marketer’s dream. Tall, attractive, multilingual and with massive poise, Osaka won her 4th major tennis title at Saturday’s Australian Open. Her agent must be ranking and rating a massive amount of endorsement offers from brands across the world.
  • I enjoyed the Governor of New York’s press conferences that started late last March when it seemed obvious that Covid-19 was going to be a huge problem. Chris Cuomo seemed genuine and transparent as he presented daily data and information about the virus and hospitalizations. I don’t like what I heard this week, with some type of cover up regarding New York nursing homes, and it will be both shocking and sad if these allegations come to fruition.
  • If you think I am letting go of my tirade regarding King Kong being portrayed at the same height as Godzilla, you are wrong, very wrong. Along with emails being sent to Warner Bros. Pictures’ CEO, I am now officially part of “Team Godzilla.” Let me know if you want in but the vetting process is arduous. The movie premiers March 31 and since it also will be premiered on HBO Max, I am hosting an outdoors watch party on my rooftop. DraftKings and some Las Vegas betting lines have Kong as a slight favorite. Seem silly to you? 🙂
You might as well get on the right team…

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

Thoughts For Valentine’s Day.

Red Skies On Thursday. Love Potion. Musician Extraordinaire. Euro Snob. A 70-Yard Tee Shot. Four Weeks To Go.

  • Just after 3:30pm EST on Thursday, after a seven-month, 300 million mile trip, NASA’s Perseverance will hopefully land on Mars. Cruising at 12,000 mph, Perseverance will begin a rapid slow down after it enters Mars’ atmosphere. At a mile above the red planet, the space vehicle’s descent engines will fire, and along with a very large parachute, will guide Perseverance down to Mars’ surface. Equipped with audio and video systems, we will be able to witness the landing on the planet’s surface in real time. Live coverage and landing commentary from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California will begin at 2:15 p.m. on the NASA TV Public Channel and the agency’s website, as well as the NASA AppYouTubeTwitterFacebookLinkedInTwitchDaily Motion, and THETA.TV. This animation is amazing and if close to reality, Thursday will be a must-watch:
Amazing animation of Thursday’s Mars landing.
  • Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and togetherness. The day is filled with the giving of beautiful flowers, chocolates, and fine dining to impress your loved one. Ok, I will stop before you throw up in your mouth, but Valentine’s Day really can be special. I have had a few memorable ones including a bouquet of black spray-painted roses delivered to my door and a counseling session with a young man whose heart was broken. These were not the type of Valentine’s Days I was planning on but those two were definitely memorable. No matter, the Indonesians have Valentine’s Day totally mixed up. They forbid the celebration of Valentine’s Day in some areas of Indonesia as the governing parties feel that celebrating Valentine’s Day may lead young people to have casual sex. Oh my Indonesia.
Image result for funny valentine memes
  • John Mayer called him “the single greatest improvisational musician I have ever played with.” He was a master of the keyboard and it does not matter if you enjoy jazz or not, listening to Chick Corea play was something special. One of my college roommates introduced me to Corea’s music and though I favored rock and roll, there was something about his sound that made me smile. Chick Corea passed away last Tuesday at the age of 79. He will be missed.
Legendary Chick Corea. RIP.
  • I have a love-hate relationship with baseball. While I enjoy the traditions and history of the game, as well as the skill and tactics employed by players and managers, the game drags on way too long. Major League Baseball is trying to speed up the game, especially with double-headers and extra-inning games, but this video, from many years ago, may explain the game way better than I can:
He does have a point with a few of his comments.
  • Golf has always been a big challenge for me and most other recreational golfers. Francesco Molinari brought reality back to all of us at the first hole at Pebble Beach, were this weekend’s PGA tournament is being held. For all golfers out there who have joined me in a frustrating time on the golf course, here is a tee shot from Molinari that most of us can unfortunately relate to….it traveled 70 yards.
Molinari won the 2018 Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland.
  • Yes, the countdown continues. Four weeks to daylight savings time!

Adios, pay if forward, stay safe and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Random Thoughts.

How Did Florida Miss The Train? Gary, Let It Go. Pay Him. I Am Asking For One Day. The Countdown Begins.

  • Over the years I have heard many of my European friends and business associates, when traveling the southeast United States, comment on the lack of train service between cities and their venues, including airports. My friends’ take is correct. While Miami’s Metrorail and Atlanta’s MARTA have their train systems running to their airports, Orlando, in their infamous wisdom, left Orlando International Airport off of the routes of their commuter rail system. Dovetailed with no service to the area theme parks, Orlando’s SunRail system just seems to have missed in a big way.

Similar to Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte, Orlando and Tampa’s population is growing exponentially. Fueled by no state income tax, an ever-growing technology workforce, and tax incentives from the State, varied businesses tied to technology, the service sector, and the space coast are starting up or relocating quickly. It is amazing to me that civil planning executives from both Orlando and Tampa did not plan for train transportation to their airports. Fortunately, it seems like the private high-speed rail service in Florida, Brightline, has seen the light, and will connect Orlando International with Tampa International. With a bit of legislative leniency, Brightline’s ultimate goal is to provide high-speed rail connecting Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Tampa. Better late than never.

  • I am not letting it go. In last week’s post I expressed my exasperation with Warner Bros. Entertainment. The misguided representation of Godzilla and King Kong being the same height still does not sit well with me. So I ask everyone to join me in voicing their displeasure by dropping a note to Ms. Ann Sarnoff, Warner Bros. Entertainment’s CEO: ann.sarnoff@warnerbros.com . She has not replied to my email. 🙂
Image result for kong vs godzilla
Maybe Godzilla is on his knees?
  • There is not argument. I favor the sport of soccer. There are many reasons, and without putting you to sleep, the main reason is that I was lucky enough to be exposed to soccer at a very early age. Basketball was also a first love, and I actually feel strongly that playing hoops helped me on the soccer field. Now we go to present day, where worldwide soccer has become the “flavor of the month” – a phenomenon fueled by the over-the-air and digital coverage of worldwide leagues and competitions.

With that said, I do want to comment on some news out of Barcelona and their famous soccer club. It is reported that Lionel Messi, long the club’s megastar, is reportedly negotiating a contract, that with all compensation components, will pay him in excess of $170M annually. While some turn their noses to this amount of money, the contract does reflect the value of Messi to Barcelona as they look to regain their domination of La Liga (Spain’s first division) and The Champion’s League (Europe’s annual club competition that yields massive money to qualifying clubs). Before you naysay, look at the salaries being paid to pitchers in Major League Baseball or the $7.8M average salary paid to players in the National Basketball Association. Professional athletes’ salaries can be outrageous, but we only have ourselves to blame as eyeballs on televised sports yield advertising revenue allowing networks to pay leagues and their clubs a massive amount of money. When one of my friends challenged Messi’s contract and value, my simple response to him is that Messi negotiated what the market will bear. Note: Barcelona enjoys approximately $50M annually from the sale of Lionel Messi jerseys. Yes, $50M.

Lionel Messi scoring against every club in La Liga – Spain’s first division league.
  • I propose a world-wide holiday. A holiday that will regain some meaning, some time, and some sanity. A holiday that brings people together with a quick phone call, lessens volatile responses, and saves a good bit of battery power. A day that would bring some peace, no misunderstandings, and would allow all of us to really gather our thoughts. No Social Media Day. For twenty-four hours all of us refrain from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and every other social media platform. Americans check their phones 96 times a day – that’s once every 10 minutes, according to new research by global tech care company Asurion. Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans get offended when someone they’re speaking with starts looking at their phone. However, three-quarters admit they’ve done it themselves. And, nearly 1 in 5 say they do this frequently. One day – is that too much to ask?
  • Speaking of time, every year, about a month into the new year, I start my daylight savings time countdown. So not only is this Super Bowl Sunday, but it marks five weeks until we turn our clocks forward. Daylight Savings Time: Let the Sunshine in.
At the 2:30 mark of this famous song, The Fifth Dimension says it all………

Adios, Pay It Forward, Stay Safe, and Enjoy the Super Bowl.