Let's Never Forget.

Retrospect.

Yesterday I read that Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her fourteenth year as Germany’s leader, had made a visit to Auschwitz, to tour a concentration camp where Nazi Germany executed more than 1.1 million people during the Holocaust. After reading this story, I was vividly reminded of my experience visiting Dachau, a former concentration camp near Munich.

Linz, Germany is situated on the right bank of the river Rhine near Remagen, Germany, approximately sixteen miles southeast of Bonn. Marietta, Georgia is a city and suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Many years ago, and I don’t remember the occasion or circumstance, the mayors of these two cities visited each other and declared Linz and Marietta “sister-cities”. As part of the celebration, the mayor of Linz suggested to the Marietta mayor that part of the celebration should include a sporting event, and asked Marietta’s mayor to send a soccer team as part of the celebration.

The details escape me but I do remember Rick Skirvin, the founder and leader of Rovers Football Club (RFC), calling me to tell me the news about the new sister cities and that we needed to put together a team to travel to Germany. Rick and I had started Rovers in 1995 with one team of adult players, and at that time we played in an over-30 league. (note: today the Rovers club consists of ten teams..and over the last 24 years over 900 players have played on one team or another). After a good bit of planning, and a commitment of fourteen Rovers to make the trip to Germany, we scheduled a game against a team from Linz and then made plans to visit the areas of Munich. The trip was a great experience with some of players accompanied by their better halves. After the game played at Bonn’s stadium, we ventured south to the Bavarian region and the city of Munich. As a group we made the decision to visit Dachau, to see for ourselves the facility and the horror of the past. The prisoners sent to Dachau were used as labor to expand the complex and served as a training ground for the Nazi military, mainly SS units. The camp was established soon after Hitler became Chancellor in 1933.

As you approach the still intact camp, the walls, barbed wire, and turrets immediately make an impact. As you enter the building, their are photos pre-war of the area, the people, and their history. The eerie part of this initial walk through is the farther you make your way through the walls of pictures, the more silent things become – as the photos of the prisoners, the conditions they lived in, and the infamous massive graves become overwhelming for most, including the men and women of our party. The building spills you into the camp’s center courtyard, barracks, and the oven room. The feeling is one that I have not fortunately felt ever again. I was speechless, distraught, and angry all at the same time. It was no different for my teammates and their significant others – our bus ride back to Munich was silent except for sniffles.

That evening was our last night in Munich so we had planned a visit to the famous Munich Hofbräuhaus, the 3-floor beer hall dating back to the 16th century. As you can imagine, no one in our party had the desire to celebrate our last night in Munich – we did not reconvene until the next morning for our bus trip back to Frankfurt. Not one of our party regretted going to Dachau but the everlasting darkness of that camp kept everyone subdued the entire next day.

Image result for photo dachau concentration camp
The fencing and turrets of the Dachau concentration camp.

As we witness the hate crimes unfortunately published on websites and television networks, the racist overtones spilling into European soccer games, and the never-ending display of terror attacks, the Rovers experience in Dachau has taught me to never forget. I hope all of us do the same.

Adios, pay it forward, and let’s never forget.

Having Words.

Words For The Sunday Before Thanksgiving.

Credible – not Prince Andrew.

Image result for pictures of prince andrew and jeffrey epstein
Unfortunate liaison.

Yawn – Alabama scheduling Western Carolina this late in the season.

Decisions – the tough ones Atlanta United made to their roster.

Enigma – the Falcons start off their season with one win in eight games and then beat New Orleans and Carolina on the road. Let’s see what happens later today against Tampa Bay and Thanksgiving night against the Saints.

Angst – the ongoing stand students have taken at Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute.

Precision – Florida A&M’s “Marching 100”.

A History Of Perfection.

Dawgs – not the animals, but a college football team trying to hang onto 4th place and get to the semi-finals. Was yesterday’s win convincing enough?

Family and Friends – hoping everyone takes the time on Thursday to enjoy Thanksgiving.

Adios, pay it forward, enjoy Sunday Funday, and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

A Take On Things I Think.

My Top Ten.

1. I have no idea what to do about school shootings. Thursday’s incident near Los Angeles was this year’s 30th. In a previous post, I mentioned that all schools should have dedicated, full-time security guards and be gated. Thursday’s incident involved a student who attended that school so my idea does not hold water. Does anyone have a better idea of how to stop this carnage?

2. I am not looking forward to the next year of political diatribes and the run up to the Presidential election. Not at all.

3. The holidays start earlier every year. Yes, I said that last year as well but I have seen the streets of Orlando, FL. and Atlanta, Ga…they are already dressed.

Winter Park (Orlando) Florida.

4. I was coerced into seeing the movie The Joker. In a word: disturbing. Joaquin Phoenix in a word: tremendous. There is something amiss with the Academy of Motion Pictures if Joaquin Phoenix is not awarded an Oscar for his performance. I cannot recommend that you see The Joker, but if you do, fair warning. The Joker’s incessant ‘laugh’ is enough to make you squirm.

Can you say disturbing?

5. Yesterday’s Georgia – Auburn game was a tale of two halves. Auburn had their chances to send the game into overtime…but it will be the Dawgs playing in the SEC championship game.

6. Distraction is not an excuse:

Fail.

7. Major League Soccer is in the expansion mode with Nashville and Miami starting up for the 2020 season. I am very much looking forward to those new clubs not duplicating Cincinnati’s inaugural season. #MajorLeagueSoccer

8. Trae Young plays for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. He is young and a tremendous talent. With his minutes managed correctly by the Hawks’ coaching staff, you may be looking at the next Steph Curry. He is averaging 32 points and 11.5 assists per game over his last four outings. #ATLHAWKS

9. Venice, Italy. Very sad.

An unusual tidal surge has put Venice under water.

10. There is something so crazy about this: Last Monday, Alibaba’s “Singles’ Day” sales hit a record $38 billion. $38 billion in ONE day.

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

Honor. Spin It. Rankings. Breathe Right. ATL UTD Should Be There. Can It Be Fixed?

Fly The Flag. Solo Cycling? I Am Not A Clemson Fan, But….? Air Quality. Holes To Fill. Would We Agree?

  • Veterans Day is celebrated tomorrow. I can’t say this with a more serious tone than I did last year: “Fly your flag all the time, but at a minimum today and tomorrow.  November 11 designates Veterans Day, honoring those who are now and have served in the United States Armed Forces.  Forget politics, forget Woodrow Wilson and WWI, Harry Truman and WWII, LBJ and Vietnam, and George Bush and the ‘weapons of mass destruction’, and any of our other leaders who have put our soldiers in harm’s way.  Stand up, give up your seat, shake the veteran’s hand, and above all else say thank you to them for their service to our country.  This is not about politics, this is about honor and sacrifice.  The least all of us can do is say thank you.”
  • Peloton. Tech cycling at its finest. They have doubled their year over year revenue and their ad spend must be massive as their spots air on NFL Sundays and during prime time. I am not a cycle person (I like to row) – but I thought part of “not on the road” cycling’s discernible difference was going to class to see your friends and cycle-mates? Don’t get me wrong, I like Peloton’s general premise as the technology is fabulous, but if I do cycle I want it to be in a class, with that loud, pounding music, with the trainer motivating you, and surrounded by people of like minds. I think. #Peloton
Virtual cycling at home.
  • The season’s first college football ranking came out last week with four teams ahead of undefeated Clemson. With Alabama losing to LSU yesterday, and Georgia and Clemson getting wins, as well as undefeated Minnesota and Baylor, who knows what the ranking committee does with the NCAA top four. Ohio State and LSU remain, but what college teams get ranked #3 and #4 after yesterday’s fun day of college football?
  • Americans bitch about many things. It is just normal for people living in the U.S. to complain about everything from traffic, to injustice, and just about anything that gets in the way of their lifestyle. From Los Angeles to Atlanta, poor air quality does not escape the landscape of complaints, with the summer air quality index sometimes at levels of what we deem unhealthy. As a benchmark, let’s take a look at what has been going on in the capital territory of India, a city of 19 million people called Delhi. Due to a number of factors, including this territory being trapped between the Himalaya’s and the Thar Desert, the air quality index has sometimes reached 900 – with dangerous air quality warnings starting at the 100 level. The government entities have responded by closing schools and some businesses, and providing 5 million air quality masks to it’s citizens. You would think, as this issue is systemic in areas of India, that the government authorities would get a fix on one or more solutions to this serious problem? Then you read this statement from an obvious ‘rocket scientist’, who feels he as come up with one clear cut solution. India’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, stated that eating carrots would help: “Eating carrots helps the body get Vitamin A, potassium, & antioxidants which protect against night blindness common in India. Carrots also help against other pollution-related harm to health.” And Americans think they have issues with their government’s Environmental Protection Agency? See today’s last take for how I really feel about Dr. Vardhan’s suggestion.
People cover their faces with masks to avoid thick smog in New Delhi on Nov. 5. People living there have complained about respiratory problems.

The Major League Soccer championship game is played today at 3pm EST in Seattle, with Seattle meeting visiting Toronto F.C. I have no dog in this fight but it is obvious to me that Atlanta United is better than either of these teams. Speaking of Atlanta United, front office leaders Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra have a bit of work to do to build and solidify the roster for the 2020 season. Some players will not be back for performance and contract reasons, and filling the shoes (and the role he played) of departed Darlington Nagbe is now a very important piece of the puzzle. #ATLUTD

I will leave all of you with an observation from Ron White – his point of view but one I would generally agree with – especially considering Dr. Vardhan’s message to the people of Delhi, India.

Just His Take.

Adios, pay it forward, praise our veterans, and have a Funday Sunday!

A Start To November .

Weather Underground. Dark at 5:45pm – No. Engine Parts Are Overrated. Kudos To Atlanta United. Baseball Apathy. Dia De Los Muertos. A Purple Heart.

  • Orlando, Florida temps today, obviously significant if you spend time in this area: High 78. Low 65. Heaven.
Downtown Orlando’s Lake Eola Park hosts today’s Fall Festival.
  • ‘Dancing in the Dark” – not only a classic Bruce Springsteen song but the reality of daylight savings time going away until March 8th of next year. A few of my readers know how I despise the end of daylight savings time as it leads to four months of darkness. Below is a contrarian view.
  • Delta Airlines thought they avoided the ongoing Boeing 737 Max issue as they did not participate with ordering that problematic aircraft. After further review, Delta probably does have aircraft issues as well, as they decided to purchase a fleet of Airbus A220 aircraft. A decision that seemed like a good one until two weeks ago, when Swiss Air was forced to ground all of its 29 Airbus A220 aircraft. It seems that one of these planes had to perform an emergency landing on its way to Geneva. Why? Pieces of the engine started to fall off somewhere over France. Yes, I said pieces of the engine. “Delta is ready when you are.”
Swiss Airbus A220
 Swiss Airbus A220-300. At least there are two engines.
  • Atlanta United – after winning the championship in 2018 you came back this season without your best player, a new manager, a ridiculous schedule and too many injuries. With all that, you still won two Cups and got to the league semifinal. Well done. Come back stronger next year. #ATLUTD
  • The Washington Nationals, to the dismay of many of their fans, refused to give their star outfielder Bryce Harper a long-term mega deal, and Harper eventually was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals, after a rough start to the season, went on to win the World Series…..a clear message to all general managers.
  • I like Mexico. Especially Mexico City as I have been there a few times for business. I like Club America, the ‘Dallas Cowboys’ of Mexico’s first division. I like most of the Mexican people I have met – they are warm, friendly and have always invited me to join them in their almost daily ritual of celebrating something. Speaking of celebrating, most Mexicans have an annual two-day festival with the central theme of “Dia De Los Muertos” – or “Day of the Dead” – and though this celebration always falls around Halloween, these two have nothing to do with each other. Here is how Mexicans describe their Dia De Los Muertos: Many of us see death as a sad event but those who celebrate Day of the Dead view death as a welcomed part of life. That is why you will see brightly colored skeletons and skulls everywhere during the holiday. They often are seen smiling, as a friendly nod to death, even mocking death. This view of death began way back during the one month Aztec festival where they celebrated the dead and paid homage to the lady of death, Mictlancíhuatl, who protected their departed loved ones and helped them in the afterlife. I am not religious but do have a lot of faith, so if this is a positive path forward to recognize and never forget the dead – so be it.
Image of people gathering at the cemetary on Day of the Dead
“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them”.

  • By definition, the Purple Heart is a medal awarded for wounds received in action against an enemy or as a direct result of an act of the enemy. There is speculation, due to an asinine military regulation, that a hero of last week’s capture and subsequent elimination of the world’s most feared terrorist, who was injured in this incredibly dangerous mission, will not receive the Purple Heart. Here is an excerpt from the military press conference held right after the successful mission, and the comments of Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command: “At sprint speed, Conan chased ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the end of a tunnel under the compound. Conan is a four-year veteran of the SOCOM program, and has participated in 50 combat missions. She was injured by exposed live electrical cables in the tunnel after Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest. I will also note that she has already returned to active duty.” Let’s get this straight. Conan is part of Delta Force. She has completed 50 missions. She forced the world’s most feared terrorist to blow himself up. She was wounded as a direct result of an act of the enemy. Read the definition of the Purple Heart. Does this soldier not deserve this prestigious award?
The military working dog injured tracking down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a tunnel beneath his compound in Syria. (White House/AP)
Meet Conan, the Delta Force dog injured tracking down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a tunnel beneath his compound in Syria.

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

The Sunday Cynic V.5

It Is All Happening Here.

  • A huge sports week in the City of Atlanta led by Atlanta United’s playoff game on Wednesday night. After all the ups and downs of Atlanta United’s season, (injuries, Miguel Almiron leaving for Newcastle and former manager Tata Martino leaving for Mexico’s national team) new manager Frank de Boer has provided a runway to get the team to the semifinals. Toronto is Wednesday night’s opponent but at home with huge and loud fan support, Atlanta should reach the November 10th championship game. If you are an Atlanta supporter, you need to be cheering on Seattle in the other semifinal game. Should Seattle beat Los Angeles Football Club on Tuesday night, Atlanta will host the championship game in two weeks at Mercedes Benz stadium. Speaking of Atlanta sports, you might want to catch the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young, who with a bit of injury-free luck, might become the NBA’s next superstar. In the Hawks’ first two games of the season, Young has been fantastic with a combination of scoring, assists and defense. Another Steph Curry in the making? Maybe so. #atlutd #AtlantaHawks
  • For a few reasons I do not watch televised baseball. Take me to a game six times a season – it is America’s pastime (in many ways) so I enjoy the ballpark atmosphere, a cold beer, and the infamous hot dog that for some reason always tastes better watching a ‘swing and a miss’. The World Series is in motion with the Nationals and the Astros battling in a best-of-seven series. I have written about the length of game issues Major League Baseball executives address every year. The average time of a major league baseball game this past regular season was three hours, six minutes, with many games lasting close to four hours. Take for example Friday night’s World Series game – after two hours the game was still in the fourth inning and the game ended at the 4:03 mark. I don’t know what the answer is but Major League Baseball better quickly figure this out.
Astros fans looking way too excited in the eighth inning of World Series game 2.
  • He was a 48-year-old Sunni Muslim and he joined the Islamic State many years ago. As the leader of ISIS he has been responsible for thousands of deaths. He had to know that his time was coming as I assume he had been told that U.S. Special Forces had been deployed to capture him. Even for the worst of terrorists, it must be a very uncomfortable feeling knowing that the U.S. Army’s Delta Force had been given orders to find and capture. As a comparison, Delta Force is a liaison to the Navy’s Seal Team Six, who eliminated Osama Bin Laden many years ago. Last night, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. military raid – reports say that as Delta Force arrived at his location, al-Baghdadi used a suicide vest to blow himself up. Due process at it’s best. That statement may have gone against my ethos of no religion, no politics. In this case, I don’t care.
  • While most of the United States and other basketball loving countries focus on managing their brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament, many people in an area of Alaska fill out a different type of bracket in October. This bracket has nothing to do with basketball or any sport, but predicts which bear, during Fat Bear Week, will be the fattest bear of all before the winter hibernation season begins. The population of bears in this area of southwest Alaska is close to 2,000, and the managing directors of Fat Bear Week streamline (per se’) the contestants down to twelve – allowing thousands of people to post their brackets on Facebook. Don’t I wish that things were so simple that I could focus on my Fat Bear Week bracket every October?
Every October, Fat Bear Week allows contestants to post their bracket to Facebook.
  • It does not matter whether you enjoy watching the sport. Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Minnesota, and L.A. have proof that some Major League Soccer matches, especially those of rivalries, have now become a relevant event in the landscape of North American sports. Thursday night’s playoff game between the L.A. Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club (this rivalry game is called El Trafico for all the obvious reasons), brought out the best of 90+ minutes of fandom. With all due respect to the tremendous Atlanta United supporters, the “3252” of LAFC are insane. This club is all about L.A. glitz, with the celebrity list reminding many of an NBA playoff game, with Magic Johnson and Will Ferrell leading the way. I have bias towards the sport, but even watching this game on an even keel, this two-hour event was spectacular. If things go as planned in this week’s semifinals, Atlanta United will visit this crazy venue two weeks from today in the Major League Soccer championship game.
The “3252’s” fandom at Los Angeles Football Club matches.
  • To the soccer pundits who spit out opinions on younger players, watch young American Christian Pulisic’s hat trick yesterday. Their take on Pulisic moving from German club Dortmund to Chelsea of the English Premier League questioned his motivation and ability to not only be effective, but to receive any playing time. Go write about someone else.
Pulisic’s hat trick in yesterday’s match against Burnley.

Adios, pay if forward, have a Funday Sunday and a great Halloween week.

Short Takes. Qatar Or Bust. The Season Continues.

Random Thoughts. Make It Happen USA. ATL UTD / ATL Hawks.

  • Immerse 2019 – a must see if you are in the Orlando area this week. Awesome interactive displays, exhibits, live music and great food.
One of many interactive experiences at this week’s Immerse 2019 – downtown Orlando.
  • What are you charged with in the court of law if you are the lead technical pilot on Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, and you do not report or lie about malfunctions with the automated flight system, and your lack of transparency leads to two crashes and 346 deaths….? Fill in the blank.
  • Congratulations to Amy and Michael. A beautiful wedding, a great party but most importantly newlyweds who ‘have the glue’. All the best.
  • Since coming out of the nasty downturn in the economy ten years ago, all Sunbelt cities are exploding with growth – namely Atlanta. This city is on fire spurred by the efforts to attract corporate and regional headquarters along with many technology companies moving in town to take advantage of the millennial workforce. The Buckhead district of Atlanta now looks more like a downtown or midtown area of most U.S. cities. In a word, amazing.
Buckhead makes for an unforgettable high-end experience. (James Duckworth, AtlantaPhotos.com)
Atlanta’s Buckhead district
  • I am 99% confident that the Centers for Disease Control have very smart health care scientists working hard every day to figure out how to combat Ebola. It looks like small steps have been achieved with antibodies to combat this deadly virus but thousands continue to be infected and perish on a monthly basis. Would it take an outbreak of Ebola in North America for additional private and public funding?
Ebola
Burial workers dressed in protective gear carry the remains of someone that died of Ebola, in Beni, Congo. The World Health Organization has issued an unusual statement raising questions about whether Tanzania is covering up possible cases of the deadly Ebola virus.
  • This is from long ago, and though a bit ‘off-color’ sometimes you just have to watch and listen to this bar scene:
A Penguin and His Car.
  • Last Tuesday night, the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) looked really bad in a 2-0 loss to Canada. The match was not a ‘friendly’, but one played in a so-called tournament made up of countries in the North American, Caribbean, and Central American regions (also known as CONCACAF). This is the same region we start to play against next Spring to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, which takes place in of all places Qatar. For the last few days, the soccer pundits, via over-the-air and social media channels, have lambasted the USMNT’s manager, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and everything else connected to our national team. Most of the criticism is warranted and I was very disturbed at what I watched last Tuesday night. Not because we lost to Canada, but the lack of effort and perseverance our national team is known for worldwide. Using the baseline that we failed to qualify for last summer’s World Cup, I don’t care who our manager is and I don’t care what players make up our player pool. This statement will bother the soccer purists but I also don’t care about what style or system the USA plays. What I care about is qualifying for Qatar 2022. CONCACAF qualifying, based on the fact that the USA failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, is obviously no longer a slam dunk. Above and beyond regional powerhouse Mexico, now managed by former Atlanta United manager Tata Martino…Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras and now Canada have matched or in some cases exceeded the USA’s physicality. From a technical standpoint, in most cases, the USA’s player pool does not match up with these regional rivals. From a tactical standpoint, their teams and level of managers and coaching have evolved since the last qualification cycle. This qualifying cycle will be more difficult than the run up to the 2018 World Cup-and failing to qualify cannot happen again. To the U.S. Soccer Federation: qualifying for the World Cup starts soon. There are not many times the U.S. manager has with the national team as the open windows for the player’s clubs to release them for national team duty is limited. If you are going to make a change with the manager, do it now – do not wait six months and then make a change. If you are not going to make a change, provide all the possible support and funding necessary to our manager to get us through qualification and to Qatar in 2022. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over with the same and unacceptable result. Just qualify, with or without Gregg Berhalter as the manager. 😊

https://www.concacaf.com/en/world-cup-qualifying-men/article/concacaf-announces-format-for-the-2022-fifa-world-cup-confederation-qualifiers

  • Speaking of sports, Atlanta United ended Atlanta’s two-week sports curse (can you say the Braves, the Dawgs and the Falcons?) beating New England, 1-0, in a first round playoff game…and the Atlanta Hawks open up their 2019-2020 campaign this Saturday night.

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

Power Down. Some Bad, Some Good. Bullwinkle?

Pulling The Plug For All The Right Reasons? Negative Takes and Positive Vibes. Bang For Their Buck.

  • 600,000 customers in northern California and 187,000 customers in southern California. Last week, their respective utility companies, due to heavy wind conditions, shut off their power to help mitigate fires. The customer base unfortunately includes the less fortunate and disabled, so the lengthy loss of power severely hampered their quality of life in many ways. While I am sensitive to the damage done by wind-swept fires, I am not sure that the indiscriminate shut down of power to these areas was carried out in a diligent manner. Losing power for a few hours is a total hassle, but losing power for four to five days, for many people, is possibly too drastic of a measure to control fires. I am not Yogi Bear, but only you can prevent forest fires. And now for the rest of the real story and the possible motive behind one utility’s decision to cut power: “As hundreds of thousands of Northern Californians sat in the dark, many tried to understand why their utility decided to take such drastic action. Pacific Gas and Electric’s power shut-off safety measure has proved unusual in its scope, as California utilities typically take a more surgical approach to blackouts. The utility has been found responsible for about two dozen wildfires and filed for bankruptcy protection in January. PG&E has said it could face up to $30 billion in liabilities for fires started by its equipment in recent years. In response, PG&E described an act taken out of an abundance of caution in the interest of safety”.

Is it me, or does something seem a bit out of order with PG&E and their so-called preventive measures? #PG&E

Many businesses in northern California closed due to their power being shut off.
  • Bothersome Takes
  • The Atlanta Braves – how can you let THAT happen?
  • The Dawgs – see above.
  • The Atlanta Falcons – later today, don’t let THAT happen again.
  • Turkey & Syria – can’t we just get along?
  • October’s stock market craziness.
  • Orlando City – search, thoroughly interview, rank and rate, and make an offer to a manager who will get stuck in with the Club. The carousel of managers needs to end.
  • Snakehead fish – how does this land-crawling predator of a fish, native to the Yangtze River basin located in China, end up in Gwinnett County, Georgia?
  • Daylight Savings Time going away on November 3rd.
  • Atlanta United – I hope you did not watch the Braves’ deciding playoff game debacle. You guys need to start Saturday’s playoff game firing on all cylinders. Allowing the first goal is not an option.
  • Positive Vibes
  • Amy and Michael’s wedding celebration, this Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Atlanta United earning a home playoff game.
  • The weather in Orlando slowly changing for the better.
  • North Turn Racing – once the actual north turn of the Daytona Speedway, this beach area is now one of the best walking /running beaches in Florida. The dive bar that sits on the property now – providing an awesome view of the ocean and good live music, is a must go-to if you find yourself near Ponce Inlet. #northturnracing
  • This weekend’s Winter Park arts festival. Some incredible people-watching, live music, great weather, and yes, a decent array of art.
  • Chattanooga FC, after ten years as a top amateur club, moving into the ranks of professional soccer. #NISA
  • I am not passing judgement on matrimony, the sanctity of marriage, or the newlyweds’ wishes. I also don’t know where East Earl, Pennsylvania is, but please take a look at this wedding cake. Yes, this is a wedding cake. Do I need say more?
Facebook/Shady Maple Market
“Hey, How Was The Wedding?”

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

Short Takes For The Beginning Of October.

P.R. The Dow. Transportation Security Administration. The Great Things About The Fall.

Dateline Paso Robles, California. I really like Puerto Rico. Beautiful beaches, nice people and an easy flight from the United States. I have been there a few times and will go back soon. The P.R. I am referring to is not Puerto Rico, but Paso Robles. A small, quaint town in California’s central coast, surrounded by many ranches, rolling hills, and most importantly close to three hundred wineries. My friends moved here many years ago from the bustling area of Silicon Valley, designed and built their beautiful home, and enjoy a fantastic lifestyle. I strongly suggest that you visit the central coast, anchored by the city of San Luis Obispo, and take in the great wineries, beaches, and restaurants and bars. It is not Los Angeles and certainly not San Francisco, but a gem of an area that provides a good bit of sanity away from the throes of congestion, traffic, and smog.

The Rolling Hills of Santa Ysabel Ranch. Paso Robles, CA

In a previous post I mentioned the stock market and the month of October. I am still confused while the start of the third quarter correlates with the volatile fluctuations with the Dow Jones – and the start of this October was no different. Can someone please shed some light on why this happens every October?

Last week’s Dow Jones Industrial Average – at a glance.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA). I have commented in previous posts why I feel like this entity should be privatized – not only for financial reasons but to provide more of a control and command to the screening of passengers before they board a flight. I realize that most of the personnel of the TSA do a fine job with their roles and responsibilities – and that millions of passengers boarding aircraft can feel reasonable assured that the screening process prevents bad people from doing very bad things. With all that said, a woman boarded an Orlando to Atlanta flight yesterday without going through the screening process and without a boarding pass. It took police forty-five minutes to remove the woman from her seat (seriously?) and then all passengers had to be removed from the plane and be re-screened. Then the plane had to be swept by police and their K-9’s. This incident is truly alarming – and TSA and Homeland Security need to work through every detail of how this could happen. #TSA #Delta Once you get through security and make your way to your gate, you then get to endure the sometimes incredulous boarding process:

The Fall: college and pro football is well underway. The Premier League and other European leagues are in full motion. The Braves and Atlanta United in the playoffs. The Hawks are getting ready for their season and a run into the NBA playoffs. It is a birthday week for a special friend. A very fun time of year!! Lets Go Braves and Atlanta United!! #EPL #ATLUTD #AtlantaBraves

Adios, pay it forward and have a Funday Sunday!

Rolling Into Fall.

Rules. Let Them Deal With It On Their Own. 45th Season Opener!

Just My Take = no religion and no politics. With that said, and due to the top of mind subject of impeachment, I wanted to understand the rules by which a President of the United States can be impeached. Again, I will not stray into the political arena but after further review here you go:

  • Here is the law of the land on the hows and whys the President can be impeached: “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The process starts with the House of Representatives having the power to impeach the president. A simple majority is necessary for an article of impeachment to be approved (each article lays out a charge against the president). Then the process moves to the Senate, where a trial will be held, with the chief justice of the Supreme Court presiding. Finally, and crucially, it takes a two-thirds vote from the Senate to actually convict a president on any count. Conviction on any count would then remove the president from office and put the vice president in power.
  • Note that two-thirds of the Senate — 67 votes — is a very high threshold almost never achieved on any matter that’s remotely partisan. The framers of our Constitution did not make it easy for Congress to remove a democratically elected president from power.
  • I don’t know how long this process takes. To me, my focus has been and always will be our military, the economy, and healthcare. This process will make all media outlets and their advertisers very happy but to me it is a major distraction, energy draining, and just another reason to spend my free time staying away from listening to political pundits. Here is a nicely done piece that explains the process way better than I just did:

In previous posts I have mentioned the disturbing trends with parents and their lack of guidance with their children. The words ‘helicoptoring’ and ‘bulldozing’ come to mind – and all of us have witnessed or experienced this new wave of parents hovering over their children and making issues go away – instead of having their children figure out how to deal with the obstacle or problem. I raised a daughter and of course made many mistakes with her and her upbringing, though I am proud to say that I did not ‘helicopter’ her. I definitely made her deal with issues head on so that later in life she would have the wherewithal to handle both personal and professional hurdles. She still remembers me telling her in no uncertain terms, “I am your father, not your friend”. The issue of parenting came to light again as last night, at a relatively upscale eatery, I witnessed a family of five sitting at a round table in the middle of the restaurant. The two younger children were using the round table to play tag; the older child was on his iPad, and the parents sat staring at their phones. Yes, I did put them ‘on the clock’ and by my watch it was over five minutes before the mom told the younger ones to sit down. The older child and parents did not look up from their devices until the food was served some ten minutes later. Can you say problematic? A family of five having dinner at a restaurant with barely any conversation or interaction. This type of parenting can only lead to, in one word, dysfunction, which of course is just my take. This Aussie journalist explains what this behavior may lead to with our children as they get a bit older: (note: I have no opinion on Al Gore, global warming or immigration-but I obviously have an opinion on young adults and their ability to adapt after being ‘helicoptered’ before and during adolescence).

One Aussie’s Opinion

It does not seem possible that Saturday Night Live kicked off its 45th Season last night with the SNL premiere hosted by Woody Harrelson. With a few people over after dinner, college football watching was suddenly dismantled as I was outvoted by the majority who wanted to watch the SNL opening segment. Though I do stay away from politics, I must say that the opening, that included Alec Baldwin, Liev Schrieber , and Larry David, was incredibly well done and very funny. Speaking of Alec Baldwin, remind me to tell you about my encounter with him at the LaGuardia airport many years ago, just a week after his infamous rant to his young daughter. He, in my opinion, would be the poster child for the dysfunctional parents described in the take above. Where the heck did forty-five years go? #SNL

I am sure that this post will get some response and rebuttal, which is all good as it is Just My Take. Please use the comments section of the blog to respond.

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