D-Day – 75 Years Ago.

Code Name: Operation Overlord.

Seventy-five years ago seems like a long time ago. Then we realize how old we are, when we were born, and the 75 years is nominal. This past Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of France. It started with a year of planning and a massive build up of Allied forces made up of troops from the United States, the UK, Canada and France. The year-long planning originally picked the date of June 5, 1944 for the Allied invasion to commence, but due to weather issues the massive armada of ships crossing the English Channel had to push back their target time by 24 hours. Early in the morning of June 6, 1944, close to 7,000 ships carried 132,000 troops to the beaches of Normandy. These beaches were code named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword with most of the United States soldiers hitting Omaha and Utah beach.

US troops landing on Omaha beach during the Normandy landings

Allied troops landing on Omaha Beach

The night before the invasion of Normandy, in order to try and protect the troops landing on the beaches, Allied forces engaged in an extensive bombing campaign to damage German defenses. Close to 24,000 Allied troops were also dropped behind enemy lines shortly after midnight on the day of the invasion. Deception tactics employed in the months leading up to the attack led the Germans to believe that the initial attacks were merely a diversion and that the true invasion would take place further along the coast. Reference: there is a scene in the movie #TheLongestDay that depicts this deception and how the German headquarters had no clue of the Normandy invasion. With that said, and even with the bombings attempting to destroy the German troops protecting the coast, some of the approaches to the beachhead failed miserably. The Germans had hunkered down on the cliffs overlooking the beaches and their gunfire, mortars and hand grenades took their toll on the Allied forces. There were more than 4,400 soldiers confirmed killed, with 9,000 injured or missing. Reference the first 20 minutes of the movie #SavingPrivateRyan.

Allied forces were eventually able to control the Normandy coastline and move inland towards Paris. Months later, with Allied forces fighting with the German troops and their Tiger Tanks, were able to liberate Paris in August of 1944.

There is the old adage: “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but no photo tells more of a horrific story than the one below:

Slide 20 of 100: CAPTION: (Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Germany. Third Reich. NS era. Persecution of Jews. Holocaust. Probably Concentration Camp of Treblinka or Belzec. Piled up shoes of murdered prisoners (location not verified, presumably Treblinka, (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
A pile of shoes from prisoners of Dachau, one of many Nazi concentration camps.

The largest amphibious invasion ever, forever known as #D-Day, laid the foundations for the Allied defeat of Germany in World War II. The gratitude the world owes all of those soldiers is immense. The defeat of the Germans was a pivotal point in world history and was the beginning of the end of WWII. When you see someone who is now serving or once served in the armed forces, please take the time to thank them for their service. I will on Monday, in Jupiter, Florida, when I shake the hand of a proud veteran, who in my mind is the epitome of what describes a patriot.

I could add on some other takes, including the opportunity to talk about seeing a long time friend yesterday…… but not this week, as the 75th Anniversary of D-Day should not be overshadowed.

Adios, Pay it Forward, and Have a Funday Sunday!

Not A Non-Profit. Shut It Down. Naysayers. Guidance.

Uber This. Money Grab = Death. Stay Positive. It Is All Good.

They are all about ride-hailing and food delivery. Analysts seemed to be impressed with Uber’s first quarter financial results. Something to the tune of $3B in revenue. Outstanding until you learn that their 1st quarter loss was over $1B. Let me state it again: Wall Street was pleased with Uber’s Q1 performance as they had earlier predicted greater losses than the $1B. Someone enlighten me please. #Uber

You can climb Mt. Everest from the Nepal or Chinese face. On the Nepal side, this land-locked country in South Asia has the Himalayas as a tourist grab so it is not surprising that they have monetized the Mt. Everest experience. Unfortunately, the money grab from permit revenue for the Mt. Everest climb led to a greater increase of inexperienced climbers paying $11,000 for a one-week permit. With 381 permits issued this year, the Nepal government has taken in over $4m, which has allowed for too many people climbing at one time, resulting in people waiting up to twelve hours to continue their ascent. This has led to 11 deaths so far in 2019. Time for the government of Nepal to get smart and limit the permits issued. What must be a bucket list experience has turned into a sad state of affairs. https://www.foxnews.com/world/mount-everest-climbers-crushed-together-nepal-permit


I have tried to limit my take on soccer for many reasons. With that said, and as Atlanta United heads into a long international break, I wanted to sum up their year-to-date season. They have played fifteen games so far this season with 19 left in the regular season. All of us were deeply concerned with how they started the season. Fans and the national media were all over Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra for their decision to replace the beloved Tata Martino with Frank de Boer. The same held true for their relentless critique of de Boer’s player selection and tactics. We witnessed slow and relatively boring games that left many questions with everyone who enjoyed last year’s championship team. I was no different though I did recognize that a coaching change, combined with absence of Miguel Almiron and key injuries might be problematic. Naysayers are now eating crow as Atlanta United has climbed into second place in the eastern conference, one point behind D.C. United, and has two games in hand. While their attack has sometimes been frustrating to watch, the team has allowed two less goals than anyone in the league. The balance of the season should be fun and entertaining both at the Mercedes-Benz stadium and on the road. #atlutd

I am a go-forward person. I have made mistakes, both personal and business-related, resulting in some very tough situations. The question for me becomes one of reflection, to think deeply or carefully about the ramifications of my decisions or actions. I use a 100% unbiased sound board to voice my concerns, my thoughts, and my wants and wishes. Maybe due to the way I was raised, or simply pride, I never considered using another person as a sound board for guidance and feedback. I did so starting back in late February, and Wednesday night was my 12th weekly ‘session’. My motivation to make this happen were actions and decisions made that were totally opposite of my personal ethos. The outcome was quite a bit of reflection, self-actualization, and a tremendous spike in my awareness of the trigger points that result in emotion. I am not Zen. I am not Karma. What I am and what I did was simply get some guidance and feedback to get me back to a good place. Sound bizarre? It should not as I started a tough new job, in a new city, and most importantly put physical and emotional distance between me and the person most important to me. Anyone who knows me well probably cannot believe I posted this…..but everyone also knows that I am a stand up man who is no longer too proud to socialize his good and not so good. If I can do it, so you can you. #real

Adios and Have A Funday Sunday!!

The Sunday Cynic. v4

A Change of Pace For JustMyTake.net

The NBA has selected Drake to be their worldwide spokesperson. They selected Drake based on his maturity and self-service…to himself. #NBA

Drake court side rubbing the shoulders of Milwaukee coach Nick Nurse…..during the game.
  • Virgin Trains USA announced this week construction on its West Palm Beach to Orlando extension had officially begun on what it projects will be a four-year undertaking. Four years of construction to place railroad tracks for 170 miles or 42 miles per year. The total spend is $4 billion so my very smart (and very pretty by the way) CPA would tell me the cost is just under $24 million a mile. Say what? #VirginTrainsUSA
  • The stupid news is that thousands of people have ordered Samsung’s long-awaited Galaxy Fold, a $2000 phone that actually folds in half. When opened it supposedly mimics a 7″ tablet. The even more stupid part of this product launch are a couple of issues. One issue seems to be that the hinges to make the phone fold are not strong enough FOR THE PHONE TO ACTUALLY FOLD – which presents a major problem until you consider the second issue: the phone screen breaks after opening and closing the phone a few times. Samsung, in their infinite wisdom, has now posted a new product manager position on their website. A $2000 phone? Not happening. #Samsung #GalaxyFold https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/galaxy-fold/
  • Little Rock, Arkansas newspaper front page story. Enough said.
  • On a serious note: For a many reasons, tomorrow is the most important Holiday in the United States.  Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May and was formerly known as Decoration Day.  Memorial Day commemorates all men and women who have died in military service for the United States.  If you have a flag, please honor our fallen veterans and fly your flag; if you don’t have one please go buy one.

Adios, have a Funday Sunday and a nice Memorial Day!

Emotion And Commitment. Trigger Points.

There Are Ups And Downs. Separate What You Wear On Your Sleeve.

By definition, emotion is “a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others”. Two of these three, circumstances and relationships, often feed the third, namely mood. Last night positive circumstance and relationship was in order as Jessica and David were married in a great ceremony and festive party at a great venue in Atlanta. Marriage, as we all know, can take on many paths with lots of changes and challenging barriers. The partners who are successful learn to navigate the paths of marriage with the commitment of the relationship in mind without bringing in the mood swings that, as mentioned above, derive from circumstances and situations. This wedding gave me (and maybe others) a chance to reflect on how important circumstances come into play with relationships. For personal reasons, I have actually put a lot of thought to circumstance, relationship, commitment, and mood. Last night’s wedding provided a beginning for two young people to create a great path of commitment. They have tremendous role models to lean on as they navigate the twists and turns of their marriage. To Jessica & David: the best of everything for you.

How often have you wished you had acted differently, said something differently, or better yet not said nothing at all? I have made these mistakes and maybe (or probably) rationalized that my actions or words were correct. In my case, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, which in sports and most business situations is probably a virtue. What I am trying to understand and learn is that the emotion I carry, as referenced above, can affect a commitment and relationship. I am a bit of a dichotomy (some of my friends may use other adjectives to describe me) as I am hard-charging in many aspects of my life, but in some ways I actually enjoy being in the in the shadows or background. I talk to people weekly to get their input and feedback on what I will in general call emotion, and many of the discussions have the same message, advice and outcome. The professionals call it ‘compartmentalizing’: the ability to deal with the emotional aspects of your life in a completely separate mind frame from your important relationships. The good news is that I have learned a lot by speaking with different people, and though their general message is a bit different from one another, the finite guidance is to distinguish and separate emotional trigger points from your personal commitment and relationship. It is not easy for me to write this as I am a relatively private person, but if this helps send a message to one very special person, or helps shed some light for others, all good.

Enjoy your week and always try to pay it forward.

Have A Funday Sunday!!

Sick & Pay. Rivalry Game. A Threat? Mom.

California: Get Your Education Code Changed. They Just Don’t Like Each Other. Not Detente. Honor Thy Mother.

You can paint this scenario anyway you want. Laws, policies and codes assist in governing our cities, states, and the country providing balance and guidelines for all of us. Sometimes, these parameters of the law should be just that, parameters that can be interpreted in different ways based on specific scenarios. Case in point: a second grade San Francisco teacher, who has fought breast cancer and is recently recovering from surgery, is now facing a financial dilemma that is both unnerving and ludicrous. Under the California Education Code, revised forty-three years ago, teachers in the state only receive 10 sick days per year. In addition, and this is where the Code is so sideways, teachers can also receive up to an additional 100 days of sick leave. This makes sense and seems equitable until the person on this extended sick leave has their pay reduced by as much as $240 per day…..to pay for their substitute. There may be other states with the same type of sick leave policy but this senseless code must be changed, and changed quickly. I cannot fathom what this California second grade teacher is going through while recovering from breast cancer and now dealing with a serious financial scenario. The governor of California is a former mayor of San Francisco. How about stepping in prevent this scenario from happening again?

Orlando City visits Atlanta United later today at Mercedes Benz stadium. It is Mother’s Day and Atlanta’s brass has made the decision to open the upper level for the game. That means as many as 70,000 people for this rivalry game – with a national television audience as well. I’ll go with a least three yellow and one red card in what was once the most heated rivalry in Major League Soccer. The billboard Atlanta United leased two years ago on I-4 near downtown Orlando may have fueled the fire just a bit. Orlando City, led by former Manchester United star Nani, is much improved over last year. Hopefully we will see a wide open match later today. #ORLCITY #ATLUTD

They have reared their ugly head again. Threats and posturing with the United States and our armed forces evokes bad memories of this once-thriving country. In reaction to troubling indicators and warnings from their leaders, U.S. Central Command has made the decision to move the USS Arlington and a Patriot missile battery to a strategic area near the Middle East. The Arlington joins the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to help stand down these threats and aggressive posturing. The country I am referring to is Iran, with their dysfunctional leaders and military always brow-beating their Middle East neighbors. The above-mentioned battleships, as of yesterday, are now joined by as many as six B-52 bombers, capable of flying at 50,000 feet and able to deploy both nuclear and conventional weapons. They are now parked at Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, a mere 20-minute flight to Tehran. God speed. #CentralCommand

U.S. Arlington now stands battleship ready in the Mediterranean Sea

Today is Mother’s Day. Yes, many of us live away from our mom, have had a contentious relationship with her, or like me, mom has passed on. With that said, whether your mom is still with us or not, don’t miss the opportunity to show your respect and appreciation for all moms today.
Mother’s Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a day of “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” I don’t know much about Woodrow Wilson, but as the 28th President, he led America through World War I, then subsequently provided the runway for a peace treaty and the formation of the League of Nations. I know of one north Atlanta family who has gathered in force to celebrate their mom and grandmas in a big way. Not all of us can gather in a similar way to this family, but at the very least, no matter the situation, call your mom and show your respect and appreciation. Just do it.

Happy Mother’s Day to All.

Adios and Have A Funday Mother’s Day!

The Center Is Better. Post Time.

So You Like Wine? And Down The Stretch They Come.

California – to many deemed as the “left coast” but since politics is a no go with this blog I will focus on the central coast of this massive state. San Luis Obispo, Cambria, Templeton and Paso Robles. From the coastline the drive inland is beautiful, with its rolling hills, farming estates, and wineries. Yes, Sonoma and Napa north of San Francisco are the well-known regions for tourists and their thirst for their favorite whites and reds. Reality: the much better and more beautiful area to visit wineries are found within a 30-mile radius of Paso Robles, a beautiful town surrounded by 250 wineries. If you are a fan of Sonoma and Napa, you will find the Central Coast region of California a refreshing change.

Kudos to Michelle and Sherman Thacher. They own and manage a beautiful winery just outside of Paso Robles encompassing 52 acres that closely resembles a sprawling Kentucky ranch. Along with their tasting room, wine club, and event facility, Thacher Winery and Vineyard hosts various events throughout the year. One of the events is yesterday’s Kentucky Derby party where club members pick up their wine but also participate in a wonderful party to enjoy the 145th Kentucky Derby race and festivities. A well-planned event with mint juleps, their great tasting wines, good food and music. When you are in the central coast of California, enjoy the wineries but make sure you spend time with the Thachers. http://www.thacherwinery.com/visit/

Traveling in California so cutting this post short – enjoy Cinco de Mayo and have a Funday Sunday.

Countdown To May.

Odds Are 10 to 1.

(10) x 2 = the number of Democrats running for President. No politics/no religion. Just a fact.

(9) Years ago it was 2010 and the United States economy was just beginning to recover. It has been on an amazing run for more than nine years.

(8) It has already been that number of years when Seal Team Six took down Osama bin Laden. Eight years ago this coming Thursday.

(7) Worn by: Mickey Mantle, John Elway, Phil Esposito, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nate ‘The Skate’ Archibald, David Beckham, and Pete Maravich.

(6) Goals scored by Atlanta United after seven games. This includes last night’s 1-0 win against win-less Colorado. After last year’s first seven games United had scored 17 goals. Head-shaking.

(5) Months to college football. Thankful for Major League and European soccer, as well as the NBA playoffs, to carry the spring and summer.

(4) Walking blocks south to Lake Eola, one of the better looking downtown parks in America.

(3) The number of people injured in this weekend’s terrorist hate crime in San Diego. There has to be a solution.

(2) KIds in Brooklyn living the dream. Do what you can while you can.

(1) Special lady.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

Comeback. The Burn. Too Much Reading.

He Is An Enigma. Paris Sad. Where Are the Cliff Notes?

Last week I called out Tiger Woods. An enigma was what I called him. From his stringent upbringing, his personal strife, the million dollar endorsements, many incredible performances on the golf course, and his fight to recover from serious medical issues. For many years, Tiger Woods and the sport of golf intrigued me for two reasons: 1) though a decent athlete, with most sports coming relatively easy to me, I have always found it difficult to achieve a respectable score for eighteen holes. So I watch some golf, including last week’s final round of the Masters, to try and understand how really great these players are; 2) Tiger Woods. If he was in a tournament I tried to catch him playing in the final round – to witness his determination, drive, and passion to win. Not that Arnold and Jack were any less competitive but Tiger brought a whole new level of desire to dominate the sport. Last Sunday, Tiger again showed his remarkable attributes: physicality, desire, perseverance, and competitiveness. Earning his 5th green jacket for winning The Masters, Tiger stomped on every naysayer who predicted, some with glee, that he would never be the golfer he once was. Multiple surgeries on his back and knee stopped Tiger from playing. Even when he felt he was healthy enough to get back on the PGA Tour, his injuries limited what he could do on the golf course. But due to pure desire to again compete at the highest level, Tiger, at 43-years-old, won another green jacket. His first Masters win, at 21-years-old, was twenty-two years ago. To me, Tiger winning his 5th Masters is the greatest sports comeback….ever.

See the source image

I cannot pretend to be a historian or understand the details of world history. Sure, I have heard of and seen photos of Notre-Dame Cathedral, but until this week, for all the wrong reasons, I had no clue about the historical significance of the building. For those who are well aware of Notre-Dame facts and figures, my upfront apologies. For those of you who were unaware of the cathedral’s significance, here is ten seconds of info: Construction started 856 years ago, in 1163. The building is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages, distinguished by it’s size, antiquity, and worldwide architectural interest. In 1805, the cathedral was declared a ‘Minor Basilica’, the honorary title for churches in Roman Catholicism. It is sad that my awareness was heightened only by last week’s devastating fire, but I do feel confident that the rebuild will yield another significant piece of architecture.

Notre-Dame de Paris, France.

We have heard about ‘the report’ for two years. Now that the 448-page document has been released for public review, can someone please send me the ten significant points contained in those 448 pages? Even if I had any level of interest in politics, I have neither the time or desire to read this ‘long-awaited’ report. I will presume that we all have a few better things to do on Passover and Easter weekend then read 448 pages of opinion and rhetoric? https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf

Adios, have a great Easter and a Fun Weekend!

One Man’s Opinion.

My Take On Things I Think.

Julian Assange – the ultimate spoiled brat.

Brexit – paralyzation from over-analyzation.

Robert Kraft – a Super Bowl winner and a loser at the same time.

Measles – as mentioned last week, childhood diseases are back with a fury. If you live in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn measles vaccinations are mandatory. J & D – get it done.

Atlanta United Wins! Interesting to ponder if last night’s game at New England would have gone in the same direction if Ezequiel Barco had not come on for the injured Eric Remedi? A road win and three points. As a friend texted me last night, United would have taken their first win against Roswell High School. Hoping that Remedi can recover from concussion-like symptoms soon.

CBS – both the online and television coverage of The Masters is about as good as it gets.

To the Bloomington, Minnesota police department – please put the man who tossed a five-year-old off the third story atrium in the Mall of America into general population. For as long as it takes.

The Trump Family – a hybrid – 50% Bundy and the other half the Adams family. Not Ted and not John.

Last Thursday Night’s Falcon Heavy Liftoff – amazing. #FalconHeavy

For Those in the Plains Dealing with a Foot of Snow – it is April 14! Atlanta is looking good at 80 degrees and Delray Beach at 85 degrees. Just sayin’.

Fake NewsBryce Harper – can you say self-centered? He signs a new contract with a new team. He schedules a personal vacation during the baseball season. In August. His contract: 13 years, $330M.

Not Fake NewsChris Davis – speaking of Major League Baseball, until last night, Davis had not had a hit in his last 49 at bats dating back to September of last season. He has not hit above .221 since signing a seven-year, $161 million contract, and he has surpassed 30 home runs just once. Since last September, 1 for 49.

Tiger Woods – the definition of enigma. Personal issues, health issues, injuries and surgeries…..and in contention going into the final round of the Masters.

Orlando Drivers – no clue and rude. Maybe it is the heat but if the lights are blinking and the gates are down you might want to stop somewhere other than on the railroad tracks?

Today’s Final Round at The Masters – even if you are not a golf fan, this 4th and final round is fun to watch. Note: due to weather, the final round started at 7:30am this morning.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

Short Takes for the 1st Sunday of April.

Today’s Dozen To Ponder.

  • Your divorce settlement results in you losing $35 Billion of your net worth….but you are still the wealthiest person in the world.
  • I used to wonder about the sanity of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). No longer, as the Florida Department of Transportation, with their I-4 lack of planning and foresight, makes the GDOT look like Einstein.
  • Tactically, I get that his impact is incredible at the 75th minute when the opponent’s defense is worn down. With that said, there has to be a way to get Orlando City’s Chris Mueller some more minutes on the field. This young kid, with guidance and a bit more quality, should certainly be considered for the U.S. Men’s National Team pool. #Chris Mueller
  • Joe Biden – I could care less about your politics, but your attempt at humor on Friday was demeaning and shameful. You are a leader?
  • Goalkeepers in the world of professional soccer, according to some pundits and backed up by analytics, reach their peak in their early 30’s and some play into the 40’s. On Friday, an Israeli professional team started a goalkeeper, who set a Guinness World Record, at the ripe age of 73. Yes, 73.
73-Year Old Goalkeeper Breaks Guinness World Record For Oldest Active Player To Play An Official Match
  • The Brexit drama. It is important but the process to make a decision is in a word: ridiculous.
  • For many years, even with a high level and presence of many game wardens, so-called hunters have been illegally entering South Africa’s Kruger National Park. They do so on foot to seek out and kill rhinoceros as their horns are for some reason treasured in many Asian countries. Yesterday, some of this barbaric poaching will undoubtedly come to an end. It seems like the Park’s rhinos have friends in their fellow elephants and lions. As a poacher was pursing a rhino for a clear shot, an elephant decided to take the law into its own hands. Yes, a very bad outcome for the poacher – I will not go into the gory details but it started with the elephant and was finished off by a family of lions. Hey morons…lesson learned?
A male lion in the wild
  • NATO has been around for seventy years – $10 to anyone, off the top of their head, who can give me three benefits of membership? Most people have no clue what the four letters stand for.
  • If the Atlanta Hawks tough season results in the silver lining of dealing for a top draft pick….will they select someone that could be the missing piece to a playoff run….and someone who will fill State Farm Arena? Can you say Zion Williamson? One of my supporting readers can certainly answer this question.
  • We have all been vaccinated against those long-forgotten childhood diseases…..or most of us anyway. Now, in 2019, the Centers for Disease Control (#CDC) reports that some of those are back. Bubonic plague, mumps, measles, tuberculosis, and scarlet fever – all with recently reported cases in the United States as well as worldwide. I am sure there is no correlation with me not feeling well after returning from a business trip to Mexico. 🙂
  • The best week of the Spring. This weekend’s men’s and women’s Final Four, Major League Soccer in full swing, the European leagues in their title races, this week’s Champions League and next weekend’s Masters.
  • The Atlanta Braves. They are cool again.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!