A NEW YEAR.

Amazon. Sidney +. Two Years Of A Very Difficult Battle. Not Green Acres. FreeFall.


  • There is a good bit of criticism surrounding Amazon. Employee welfare, driving the independent retailers out of business, and the negative vibes of a category killer. I can’t criticize Amazon as I order from their site, watch content using their Amazon Fire Stick, and listen to their music offerings. I like operational efficiency and very much dislike wasting time and effort. Here is the reality of Amazon and operational efficiency: 45 minutes. That’s how much time passes between the moment you click “Place your order” and the moment your package gets loaded on the truck. That includes processing, locating, packing, scanning, and labelling your package before it hits the road. Amazon now receives 10 million orders per day (115 orders per second), and 1 out of every 153 American workers is an Amazon employee. Criticize for all the right and wrong reasons, but what Amazon has created is amazing.

  • Along with Sean Connery and Yul Brynner, Sidney Poitier was my mom’s favorite actor. I remember her telling me that he was the epitome of style, grace, and intelligence – which she obviously pointed out due to my lack of those three attributes. Sidney Poitier also was brave, taking on and dealing with the attitude of many in Hollywood, and would go on to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1963. Later in life, in 2009, Mr. Portier would earn the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Betty White, John Madden, Dan Reeves, and now Sidney Poitier to start off 2022. RIP. The 1967 film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” was a breakthrough for Hollywood. The movie, starring Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, and Sidney Poitier, may be the best romantic-comedy ever. This is one of many classic scenes. Katherine Hepburn’s stone-stare look, Spencer Tracy’s delivery, and Sidney Poitier’s stoic presence is the best:
Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner – one of Sidney Poitier’s best.

  • We have now been dealing with Covid-19 and it’s variants for two years. There is no way that any of us could predict the last twenty-four months, in many ways disturbing, disruptive, and in so many cases, very sad. Allow me to give you some recent developments with the viruses and a point of view that is a bit alarming:
  • As of last Thursday, 5,481,215 people worldwide have died from Covid-19.
  • The Omicron variant’s contraction rate is massive – and has caused school systems, including Chicago, to postpone the start of school post-holidays.
  • Last Wednesday, the American Medical Association publicly criticized the CDC for their continued misinformation and variable guidance. This is two years, with the CDC, the W.H.O., and other infectious disease specialists struggling to provide consistent and consolidated guidance.
  • The vaccination has now been available for one year and the lines keep getting longer. The same goes for testing. In the Orlando, Florida area, the wait times at testing sites average four hours. After two years, that is unacceptable.
  • Many businesses, including American Express and Blackrock, have told their employees to stay home. Their planned office openings for the end of this month have been put on hold indefinitely. Restaurants, airlines, and hospitals are again having issues with staffing.
  • Florida had a record 76,887 new infections on Friday; 1 out of 3 COVID-19 tests is positive as the number of patients in Florida hospitals with the virus passed 8,700, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

I am in no position to criticize anyone. I know that many healthcare professionals, scientists, and worldwide entities are trying very hard to combat these viruses. I guess I keep wondering what variants will follow Omicron? Then again, what if the pandemic involved a derivative of filovirus? Filoviruses are for now confined to regions of central, eastern, and western Africa. They are among the most dangerous human pathogens known, causing highly fatal hemorrhagic fevers – death in 60 to 90 percent of victims. This is not meant to be a negative take on our two-year battle with Covid-19. I am just trying to point out that if we are having difficulty with these types of coronaviruses, all bets are off if the different strains of filovirus ever become a worldwide pandemic. Just so all of us are on the same page: Filovirus = Ebola.


  • Though I know very little about the topic, farming and agriculture have always interested me. Maybe my interest stems from my dad taking my brother and I to strawberry farms in the Homestead, Florida area – or the fact that the college campus I lived on had a very vibrant agriculture curriculum (Note: Berry College boasts not only the largest contiguous college campus in the U.S. but the largest one in the world). Automation and the offset of labor costs are important dynamics in most manufacturing sectors, and those dynamics have reached the farming world as well. I won’t touch labor reform, but the fact remains that immigrant farm workers make up an estimated 73% of agriculture workers in the United States today. So with the obvious labor challenges to farmers and ranchers throughout the United States, some very smart people have now provided a path to automation in the farming sector. With the ultimate goal of a better yield and product from farm to table, Iron Ox Robotics has created a very interesting way to plant, grow, and harvest produce:
Technology and farming at its finest from Iron Ox Robotics.

I still smile when I remember a friend on mine, while we were driving south from San Jose to Paso Robles on Highway 101. She had never been to the area and really never correlated the state of California with agriculture. You just can’t imagine the number of farmlands in the state, with 80,000 farms and ranches. The state produces a third of the U.S.A.’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts. The amount of labor to support these 80,000 farms and ranches is immense, and the John Deere Company has entered the technology world to help farmers across the world. At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), John Deere introduced an autonomous tractor. Before you roll your eyes, realize that this is the first step with automating the farming world. Think about how this tilling/planting technology will evolve with seeding, growing, harvesting, and packing – and how companies like Iron Ox and John Deere are trying hard to ensure that our grocery stores and farmers’ markets maintain their inventories. This is a very well-done video from John Deere:

John Deere’s autonomous tractor.

  • In the never-ending pursuit to embellish Orlando’s visitor experience, the tourist corridor of International Drive has added a new ‘attraction.’ I am all good with someone explaining to me the joy received from being elevated to a height of 400′ feet, being tilted forward 30°, and free-falling at speeds of up to 80 MPH. I think they should pay us to deal with this experience. Go ahead, chime in, as I just don’t get it.
Thanks, but no thanks.

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

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