As We Head Into August.

My Top Of Mind For The Last Sunday in July.

Yesterday marked one month since the tragic collapse of a Miami condominium building. The collapse on June 24 claimed at least ninety-five lives…and we hardly hear or read any further details on how and why the building collapsed.

While the news of the Miami tragedy diminishes, the media feels compelled to file stories on Brittany Spears, Alex Rodriquez, Ben and Jenny, and Angelina and Brad. Seriously?

Kudos to the Japanese Olympic host committee, the athletes, the support staff, and volunteers to pull off a competition that maybe should not have happened. Don’t misunderstand my take…I enjoy the competition but the sequestering of athletes and zero fans at the venues is not what the Olympics are all about.

Is the competition and the spirit of the Olympic Games the same without fans?

Regarding the Olympics and the prohibited fan support, it is interesting to see how parts of the United States are in a complete 180° from Japan. Yesterday’s attendance of 67,507 at Mercedes Benz Stadium to take in the Atlanta United v Columbus Crew game is one example.

I provided my viewpoint on “global warming” in the last week’s post. I have not spent a lot of time researching the facts and figures, but the fires in the western part of the United States and the flooding around the world seem systemic. Does anyone want to chime in on their thoughts? (Please do not tie your comments to politics – thanks). Here is one area of the world under extreme duress:

Flooding in Zhengzhou, China. A city with a population of over 10 million.

It is none of my business whether people across the world decide to get the Covid-19 vaccine. That is a personal decision, but I will chime in with two bits of information that have nothing to do with political positioning or diatribes:

  • Data from Johns Hopkins University shows: The average number of new Covid-19 cases each day the past week was 32,278. That’s a 66% jump from the average daily rate the previous week, and 145% higher than the rate from two weeks ago. More than 97% of people getting hospitalized with Covid-19 now are unvaccinated. 99.5% of deaths are among the unvaccinated, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Monday.
  • A doctor in Alabama had a harrowing message for those still unwilling to get vaccinated. Sharing how she has “made a LOT of progress encouraging people to get vaccinated,” Brytney Cobia, a physician at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, detailed in a Facebook post how numerous “young healthy people” have been admitted to the hospital “with very serious COVID infections.” “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late,” she wrote.

I am ‘shocked’ that the “hard seltzer” boom seems to be over. Come on, what is wrong with seltzer water, spiked with alcohol, with a substitute fruit nectar? I have sampled a few brands – and I just don’t understand how these drinks became a real category in the first place. I know, I’m old.

It is a cliché, but time does fly. The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer was forty years ago. Yes, 40. Forty-five years ago, Bruce Jenner, a.k.a. Caitlyn Marie Jenner, won the 1976 Olympic decathlon. Where were you and what were you doing in July of 1976 and 1981?

Bruce Jenner Net Worth, Kids And His Transformation To Caitlyn Jenner »  Celebion
Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medal winner.

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

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!