Let’s Hope.

Am I Asking For That Much?

As we approach the last quarter of 2021, many of us, including me, have reflected on the last twenty months. An unprecedented time with a virus tipping the world to one of uncertainty, illness, and in some cases, despair. One can only hope that as we get into ‘Q4’ and the new year, we can put some of the socio/economic issues behind us. Yes, the political world has played havoc but as all of you know, I will not go there. Below are some of my ‘hopes’:

  • To the health and safety czars of the world: please give us definitive and efficacy-supported information regarding the vaccine boosters. Let’s not return to the misguided information that came from the CDC, WHO, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. One voice, one directive, please.
  • From 1892 to 1954, nearly 12 million immigrants arriving at the Port of New York and New Jersey were processed there under federal law. In numerous occasions in the last seventy years, the United States has ‘processed in’ immigrants who legitimately want a life in America. There is no doubt that our nation’s farmers, especially the ones in California, rely on immigrants to keep the supply chain of food moving forward. In a recent survey of farmers by the California Farm Bureau, 55 percent reported labor shortages, and the figure was nearly 70 percent for those who depend on seasonal workers. So, while I completely understand that the United States must govern immigration, the situation like the one in Del Rio, Texas must stop. Over 6,000 Haitians, including very young children, without the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, living under a highway in a border town. How quickly we can forget Ellis Island and the runway to a life given to so many immigrants.
Migrants, many from Haiti, are seen at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande on Sept. 21, 2021.
The encampment of mostly Haitians in Del Rio, Texas.
  • Let us hope that the family of Gabby Petito finds peace. We may never really know what happened to her and I am a firm believer in due process and that one must be proven guilty. If Brian Laundrie had anything to do with this young lady’s death, I can only hope that he did enter that waterlogged reserve in southwest Florida. The Carlton Reserve is 75% water, with thick underbrush, murky ponds, and infested with snakes and alligators – never mind the infamous Florida panther. Trust my instincts: My friends who I grew up with in Miami know exactly what I am referring to – we may never see a trace of Brian Laundrie again.
  • All of us, at some level, are affected by the supply chain nightmare. As the ongoing and critical shortage of truck drivers continues, the cause and effect of moving 75% of all goods across the United States concerns everyone. It is estimated that there is a shortage of 60,000 truck drivers, which is due to many reasons including a retiring workforce, the pandemic, and work/life balance. Last week, due to the shortage of trucks and drivers, there were sixty-two ships anchored off the coast of Los Angeles/Long Beach waiting to be unloaded. In a very simple statement, this cannot continue.
A view of marine traffic around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
A view of the marine traffic around the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
  • Not to mince words: Let us all hope that once again that we become the UNITED States of America.

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

A Lennon Perspective

A Futurist: “One who studies and predicts the future especially on the basis of current trends.

A visit to Beacon, New York, located 50 miles north of New York City in the Hudson Valley, is always a great trip for many reasons. My daughter and son-in-law escaped to this area, which reminds me of Blue Ridge, Georgia, after the pandemic. I get to spend time with them in this beautiful area but with all due respect, my real reason to visit is my granddaughter, Lennon. Now almost eight months old, she is a vibrant and happy baby, full of life and maybe a bit too inquisitive. Luckily for me, my daughter and son-in-law had a commitment they needed to attend to down in NYC, leaving me and Lennon to deal with a really nice Saturday afternoon and evening. As I hold, read, and play with her, I wonder what she is thinking about, but in particular what the world will be like as she grows up and has a family of her own.

Main Street in Beacon, New York.

School – how much of my schooling will be in-class, virtual or a hybrid of both? Will I ever really have school books or will I use my tablet/laptop to download all my reading and learning materials. Will I still have daily interaction with my teachers and classmates? Most importantly, what about recess?

My backpack – it is much smaller than the one my mom uses for work. Mine contains only a pen, a small notepad, and a thick lining material that charges my interactive communication devices (ICD’s). My backpack is really light – I can barely pick up my mom’s.

The school’s transport vehicle is really quiet as it comes down the street. The transport vehicle sends a signal to my ICD which in turns makes my communication bracelet light up, alerting me that I have ten minutes until it pulls up to the queuing area on the corner of my street. As I place my bracelet next the central home hub (CHH), mounted next to the refrigerator, my schedule, including soccer and dance practice, are loaded onto my ICD as well as my mom and dad’s.

The transport vehicle is autonomous, staffed by a transport vehicle experience specialist, who ensures we are seated, and our three-point seat belts fastened. I really like my school transport vehicle, but find it really cool that half the kids in my school are driven by their parents in either an electric or autonomous vehicle.

My parents took me on a trip to Long Island over the weekend. My mom told me that in the old days they would drive a car filled with gas and oil, and that the trip would sometimes take three hours from Beacon. For this trip we used ‘Uber Air’, one of the many air taxi services found around the New York metropolitan area. My dad actually takes an air taxi to and from his job in Manhattan, cutting down his commute to 15 minutes each way.

I am not allowed to watch ‘regular’ video content too often, but when I do, I take one of the rollup screens outside on our deck and usually divide the screen into two of my favorite shows. My dad showed me a photo of this huge box that was called a television – I’m really not sure why those video content screens needed a box in the first place.

Last night my dad was watching his personal video content screen while he was grilling some salmon. He told me that the U.S. Central Command, located in Tampa, Florida, had deployed 1,000 more drones to the Middle East as conflicts again were instigated by terrorists in the region. My dad also told me that at one time there were thousands of military troops, as well as ships and equipment deployed for these types of conflicts. Those days for the most part are long gone as the drone operators sitting in Tampa simply use their joysticks to destroy all enemy combatants.

My mom told me that my dad is planning a big trip for my high school graduation. We are going to the New York Spaceport, located right next to the regular LaGuardia airport. For my gift, he is going to allow me to pick a space flight from one of many space transport companies. My dad sent information to my ICD, that allows me to pick and choose the destination I want. I think for this trip, I want to fly around the earth a few times – it is a two-hour trip but will only cost my family $5900.00.

Unfortunately, the video visit to my doctor was not a great one. I need a medical procedure, but the doctor reassured me that the ‘laserscope technology’ will barely leave a scar. The cool thing is that I get to use an air taxi again as it will pick me up at the air taxi stand down the street and land right next to the healthcare hub. The entire ‘laserscope’ will take only ten minutes and the recovering time should be a few hours only.

Every generation is different. Every family dynamic is different. I am looking forward to Lennon and how she grows up in a very interesting world.

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

Twenty Years Ago.

A Day Of Infamy.

  • 7,306 days ago – I was in my usual Tuesday morning staff meeting when the conference room door suddenly flew open and a teary-eyed associate asked me to come with her to the break room.

1,044 weeks ago – My initial reaction of puzzling concern turned to horror as I realized the four planes involved were some sort of coordinated terror attack.

240 months ago – That day, even with the operations and communications experience I had garnered in my career to-date, taxed all of my faculties. The continuous conference calls throughout the day focused on the twenty-seven company associates who were traveling or away from home that day. With the chaos that ensued, it took fourteen hours for our senior management team to locate those associates. Working with them to get home, considering the emotion and circumstance, was indescribable.

20 years ago – As I wrote this yesterday morning, I vividly remembered the emotional roller-coaster of that moment, that day, and the subsequent weeks. “A date that will live infamy ” was a statement included in a speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt one day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I was not around then but I am sure all Americans felt the same feelings on December 7, 1941 as we all did on September 11, 2001.

Let us all remember and never forget 20 years ago. To all of those who were directly affected by those tragic events, today and always, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength.

  • Over the last twenty years, some serious issues were uncovered surrounding the United States’ intelligence community. Terms that described the different intelligence agencies included “territorial” and “justifying their existence.”

The following is an excerpt from The 9/11 Commission Report. Take what you want from this short paragraph found on page 328:

“The government’s ability to collect intelligence inside the United States, and the sharing of such information between the intelligence and law enforcement communities, was not a priority before 9/11. Guidelines on this subject issued in August 2001 by Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson essentially recapitulated prior guidance. However, the attacks of 9/11 changed everything. Less than one week after September 11, an early version of what was to become the Patriot Act began to take shape. A central provision of the proposal was the removal of “the wall” on information sharing between the intelligence and law enforcement communities….”

After watching this past Sunday’s 60 Minutes show, one might wonder if the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented if the United States had kept The Ritchie Boys and their intelligence-gathering tactics in place after World War II. I am sure the U.S. intelligence agencies have employed similar tactics over the years, but after watching this 40-minute segment on Sunday night – well, you make your own call if these brave men might have had a part in uncovering the 9/11 terrorist plot.

One of The Ritchie Boys, who collected 60% of all intelligence data during World War 11.

I have some different content to post but I think I will leave this take, regarding 9/11, stand for the week.

Adios, never forget, pay it forward, be safe and have a Funday Sunday.

Cork The Whine V.2

Inspiration From The Remarkable.

  • While we are dealing with the continued pandemic – with people a bit sideways due to masking and the vaccination, I just wanted to remind everyone to cork the whine. The Paralympic Games are underway in Tokyo with athletes from all over the world competing at very high levels. The next time you are out of sorts take a look at the video below. In a word, amazing people doing remarkable things.
Amazing and remarkable.

  • Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. Labor Day is designated to pay tribute to the achievements of American workers.

One year ago, this was my comment with all of us living through the continued Covid-19 pandemic: “Of all years to recognize Labor Day, 2020 stands out. A special tribute to all healthcare workers and first responders. Please everyone, fly your flag.”

A year later and we continue to deal with the pandemic and the Delta Variant, which we can only hope has peaked and is on the mend. Keep your chin up, fly your flag, and I hope you have a nice Labor Day weekend.

Adios, Stay Safe, Pay it Forward, and Have a Great Weekend.