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!