Do You Have Answers?

As we approach the eleventh month of 2020, lots of questions come to mind with the Thanksgiving and the December holidays – as well as the start of 2021.

  • Politics, which I have no interest in, takes to the forefront this week with the looming presence of the November 3 Presidential election. Anyone want to venture a guess if we will actually find out the winner of the election anytime around November 3 and into the morning of November 4?
  • When does the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control put their self-serving interests to the side and provide discernible protocols for everyone to help stop the spread of Covid-19? Are we going to face the same information dilemma once vaccines are tested and the data provides a high level of efficacy? As I have mentioned in previous posts, the worldwide distribution of the vaccine may pose just as big of a problem as getting a vaccine accepted by the Food & Drug Administration.
  • After absorbing massive losses this year due to pandemic restrictions, what do college and professional sports teams do to get their fan base back into stadiums and arenas? The same for restaurants, retailers, hotels and airlines?
  • How does the outcome of the election affect the financial markets short and long term?
  • Can the housing sector maintain its growth, support incredibly low interest rates, and provide builders with capital to maintain a level of new housing starts?
  • Does virtual become a standard learning practice or does the pressure from parents needing their kids to be at school (some my say just out of the house) force school administrators to buy up the world’s inventories of plexi-glass?
  • What happens with retail during the holiday shopping season? Are people willing to enter a mall and go to stores? Does Amazon and online retailing take precedent? Will Santa make an appearance at the local mall or holiday festival? A year ago we were worried about the retail sector because it was the retail sector. Now the pandemic has diluted the retail experience even further.
  • To Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra: for months I have defended the team’s performance, specifically attributed to the injury to Josef Martinez and the decisions on the player pool. The decision to move Frank de Boer on from his job was necessary so these types of dynamics can cause performance issues on the field. With that said, let me be clear: both of you need to look in the mirror, get those smug smiles off your faces, and quit doing your silly and immature bits on social media. Both of you are accountable for the performance of this team and the team is very poor. Benchmark? Sure, look at what Luis Muzzi has done in Orlando with half the budget you have….he has put together a high-tempo team with a mix of experience and young, eager players. Atlanta United is a shadow of itself and it is not due to Martinez’s injury. The 17’s should be outraged.
  • How many episodes of Forensic Files can one person watch? The series has a massive following on the Headline News channel from CNN. Five minutes into my first episode the other night: in one word, disturbing.
  • Speaking of questions, I have many. The Moody Blues probably said it best with one of their famous singles. Yes, they introduced this song fifty years ago.
Questions, a hit single by The Moody Blues, circa 1970.

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

A Fall Classic.

What On Earth Is He Talking About? A Platform Of Aggregation. Steam.

Maybe I self-evaluate my intelligence or lack there of too often. I am very aware of my strengths and weaknesses but I write a blog so I can’t be that much of a dumb ass (no comment please). The reality is that I admire very intelligent people which is interesting as very intelligent people and I are definitely not aligned. I like to challenge myself once in awhile to take in information or content that I am not necessarily interested in or follow (such as high intelligence quota subjects like sports).

Last week, I decided to watch two episodes of Cosmos: Possible Worlds. My first indication that I would be overmatched by this content were the credits that ran before the show opening. It is quite apparent that when I see Carl Sagan in the credits of any documentary, I either need to change the channel or have a biophysicist sitting next to me to give me the cliff notes. If Carl Sagan wasn’t enough, the first person I see on the first episode is none other than the American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and planetary scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Red alert bells go off in my head as I now realize that this programming is going to be a mental shock to my system.

To no surprise, within the first twenty minutes of episode one, Neil deGrasse Tyson, with his smooth delivery and off the charts vocabulary, starts to discuss Cyanobacteria and the Cambrian explosion. Of course my brain starts to melt a bit as he describes Cyanobacteria, which in his words is something along the the lines of a phylum of prokaryotes consisting of both free-living photosynthetic bacteria and the endosymbiotic plastids that are present in the Archaeplastida autotrophic eukaryotes.

I no longer want to communicate with you if that description of Cyanobacteria made any sense to you….or if you even know how to pronounce most of those words. I don’t know how many times during the two episodes I repeated, probably out loud to myself, what the hell (my polite blog word) is he talking about? I did soak up the two episodes and immediately went to the bottle of Woodford Reserve to bring reality and balance back to my self-being. Self deprecating or not, reality does reveal that I am not the sharpest pencil in the stack.

I did read (yes, I do read) a bit about Neil deGrasse Tyson. While it is clear that we are are the opposite sides of the intelligence spectrum, I do like and acknowledge this quote from him: “Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not“.


When I look for a good example of ‘aggregation’ I look to Google News. No, not all the content but the way Google News aggregates and matches up subject matter with news platforms and presents it in a simple, concise way. I want to take this type of aggregation platform and dovetail it with cord-cutting. You read it right, that’s what I want to do. So to my associates and readers who come from the sports/entertainment/technology/finance worlds….you better get ready to help get this idea to fruition quickly. The simple premise: Why should I cut the cord and what choices do I really have, based on the content I consume? How do I make my choices with non-linear and/or linear providers and what will it cost me? How do I pay and when? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?


Blowing of some steam:

  • Yesterday could have started as one of the greatest sports weekends in Atlanta history. The Braves closing out their NLCS series and heading to the World Series and the Georgia Bulldogs beating the second-ranked Crimson Tide. Not.
  • Today, the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United and the Braves have a chance to make the weekend better. The Falcons are in disarray and play away to Minnesota, United plays away to Toronto (in CT as you can’t travel to Canada), and the Braves have another opportunity to make it to a World Series. Any takers?
  • A tale of two cities: Atlanta’s sports teams other than the Braves have had a tough Covid-19 year. In comparison, the Tampa Bay area is on fire. The Lightning wins the Stanley Cup, the Rays make it to the World Series, the Bucs are looking good and run by none other than Tom Brady, and the Rowdies sit atop their division in the USL Championship. It must be the water.
  • To the Braves, manager Brian Snitker, and tonight’s starting pitcher Ian Anderson: do NOT throw one pitch within two feet of the plate to the Dodgers’ Corey Seager. Just don’t.
  • To the Georgia Bulldogs: even with the bad-looking loss last night, there may be a lot to salvage by year-end. Get it together.
  • To UCF: for years you have had a top five offense in the country. Why do you not believe in defense – this has been systemic for years. Yesterday, you score 49 points and lose 50-49? Ridiculous.

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

Eddie & Michael.

A Legend Is Gone – Let Us Not Forget.

Obit Eddie Van Halen
Who Would Have Thought? Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson.

For me, music has played a significant role over many years but never more important than now. Sure, during the pandemic lockdown, Netflix and other televised content became a focal point, but listening to music, from classical to rock to reggae, has become a common denominator to maintaining some level of sanity during these crazy times of 2020. I have mentioned my brother in previous posts, who in my opinion, when very young, was way ahead of his time with music content. That small bedroom in our southwest Miami home was always filled with music blasting from his Marantz stereo with speakers that should have been placed in a ballroom, not a 10′ x 12′ bedroom. From Ravi Shankar to Ten Years After to Brothers Johnson, my exposure and enjoyment of different artists and their music has continued to present day.

The guitar has always been my favorite. From the twang of the slide guitar to the driving riffs of rock, there has always been something about the guitar that brings back memories and makes me smile. With the passing last week of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, I have reflected back to the days of Woodstock, funk, and the legendary late 70’s and 80’s hair bands. Don’t get me wrong, I loved War, Keith Sweat, Michael Jackson and Prince, but rock has been and still is my go-to for most of my listening pleasure.

Speaking of Michael Jackson, all of us remember his massive selling album “Thriller” and the song “Beat It”. Per Michael’s request, famous music industry mogul Quincy Jones made a call to Eddie Van Halen asking him to add a guitar break to “Beat It”, resulting in rock history when Van Halen added 20 scorching seconds to the middle of the song. Due to the ask coming from of all people Quincy Jones, Van Halen worked for free and spent only an hour in studio producing a riff that to this day is legendary. A great quote from Van Halen regarding “Beat It”: After the record’s release, Van Halen would remember shopping in a Tower Records store while “Beat It” was playing on the sound system. “The solo comes on, and I hear these kids in front of me going, ‘Listen to this guy trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen,’” he said. “I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘That IS me!’ That was hilarious.”

“Beat It” is still played very often and I always like to challenge my music friends asking them who did the guitar break on the song. Most people never remembered or correlated Eddie Van Halen with Michael Jackson as the song “Beat It’ included one of the greatest riffs of all time. If you don’t want to watch this famous music video move to the 3:10 mark. RIP Eddie Van Halen.

“Beat It” from the album Thriller, and the famous Eddie Van Halen riff.

That is my take on one of the greatest guitarists of all time. For another perspective watch and listen to the enjoyment from this young kid reacting to Eddie and his band Van Halen. Priceless.

Eddie killing it with David Lee Roth.

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

Popular Vote. Definitely Not NYC. Dark Shadows. Live.

It’s Not Popular. NY’s Hudson Valley Region. It’s Getting Dark In Here. Don’t Mess With Bane. You Are Looking Live….

  • November 3 is election day. Though I have removed myself from all political rhetoric and self-serving hyperbole, I am an American and believe in the political process. So if you are eligible, it is your right to vote. Unfortunately, we may not find out the winner of the presidential election on the night of November 3. That seems a bit sideways as the accounting of the mail-in vote may push the electoral accounting process to the next day…or the next week…..or? What is the electoral college? An American pastime devised to provide ‘equal’ representation from all the states – no matter the population of the 50 states in the union (and the District of Columbia). There are many people who believe or think that the presidential election is a count of the individual or popular vote. Don’t roll your eyes as a few polls completed in the last four months have up to 25% of American adults believing that the popular vote decides the presidential election. Note: refer to late night hosts interviewing ‘people on the street’, asking very simple trivia-type questions about the United States to adults and getting back answers that are mind-boggling. So we are all on the same page: In the electoral college system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress. Each elector casts one electoral vote following the general election; there are a total of 538 electoral votes. The candidate that gets more than half (270) wins the election. Clear as mud. As a random sample of our fellow American’s general knowledge take a look at a few minutes of this walkabout with Jay Leno:
Who’s On First?
  • The Hudson Valley region of New York is beautiful this time of year. Amazing that just an hour or so north of New York City, you can find so many small towns, rolling hills, and parks and trails along the Hudson River. The fall color is in full array this time of year which brings tons of people up from the City on most weekends. I stayed in Beacon, a quaint small town along the Hudson, with it’s art galleries, pubs, and historic landmarks. A really great town.
Beacon NY Real Estate, Homes for Sale | Houlihan Lawrence
Just 90 minutes from NYC, along the Hudson River, is Beacon, New York.
  • Halloween may look a bit different at the end of the month due to the issues with Covid-19. Halloween is only three weeks away which in turn tells us that the demise of daylight savings time is upon us. For those counting the days we go very dark on Sunday, November 1. The upside: daylight savings time will be back with us on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
  • The following take was posted back in June but in light of Friday’s hospitalization of the President, it is prudent to post one more time: I don’t do politics – but what I don’t understand is the correlation of wearing a mask and politics. Use the science as a data point and wear a mask when around others. Some have told me that I look better with one on.
Just Bane reminding people to wear masks. : funny
Even badass Bane wears a face covering.
  • Live televised sports – in one word: thankful. MLB, LPGA, PGA, USTA, WTA, NBA, NWSL, WNBA, NFL, MLS, NHL. To the leagues and tours and their hard working staffs, the players, the coaches, and television networks: whatever and however you were able to make this all happen…..great stuff!

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