Salute The Fallen. Live Events Are Back! Something Is Amiss. Yes Or No. The “King’s” Gambit.

Please Fly Your Flag.

  • For a few 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. Please honor our fallen veterans and fly your flag; if you don’t have one please go buy one.

Sammy Rocks.

  • Live events. We probably took them for granted before the onslaught of the pandemic, but there is definite momentum, supported by the vaccine, to get people back into sports arenas and stadiums, conventions, expositions, conferences, and thankfully live performance venues. Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center is one of many venues that pivoted quickly to keep live events moving forward with their ‘Frontyard Festival’ set up, using their outdoor space to create safe “pods” for audiences to enjoy all types of performances. Last week, headliner Sammy Hagar, along with Vince Neil, butchered this famous song, but no one cared as the joy and fun of a live event and concert was back after too long of a hiatus.

The Governor’s Question.

  • Ethics. Morals. Values. Principles. Respect. Character. Dignity. Integrity. Conscience. Accountability. They are just words but have never resonated more when considering the issues involving the pandemic, vote counts, unscrupulous politicians, socio-economic firestorms, vaccines, and most importantly violence.

After last Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Jose, California Governor Gavin Newsom asked a question and made a statement that all of us want answers to: ” What the hell is going on in the United States of America? What the hell is wrong with us and when are we going to come to grips with this?” Governor Newsom: the same statement and question has been asked way too many times. As a reminder, the definition of insanity is asking the same thing over and over again without a result, so making general statements and asking questions about gun violence have unfortunately fallen on deaf ears. Yes, I have been told loud and clear that people kill people, not guns, but that fact should not detract from dealing with the sheer violence that has taken place in the U.S. year-to-date.

Last Wednesday’s gunman had three semi-automatic weapons and 11 magazines when he killed nine co-workers. Twelve firearms and 22,000 rounds of ammo were found at the gunman’s home. While I support the 2nd Amendment, and working with the underlying premise that people kill people, not guns, I think the purpose of the 2nd Amendment has long been taken out of context. I feel strongly that people should have the right to bear arms for two reasons, and two reasons only: 1) as personal protection, and 2) for hunting/sporting reasons. So while the right to “bear arms” is part of our Bill of Rights, is it necessary and smart for people to have access to automatic and semi-automatic weapons along with the ability to obtain thousands of rounds of ammunition? This question has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with sense and sensibility in the year 2021, not 332 years ago when the Bill of Rights were written.

Here is what I do know: a mass shooting is defined as any incident that involves multiple victims of gun violence. By that definition, there have been two hundred thirty (232) mass shootings THIS year. Wednesday’s tragedy in San Jose again calls to attention the need for action – not just words.

Yes or No?

  • There is a great deal of discussion regarding employers demanding or requesting their employees be vaccinated – to the point of ad nauseum. Maybe the graphic below sums it up?
Can employers make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)


  • The mini-series “The Queen’s Gambit” follows the life of a chess prodigy, Elizabeth Harmon, during her quest to become the world’s greatest chess player while struggling with emotional problems, drugs and alcohol dependency. This mini-series was very well done, and though the episodes gave us insight into the world of competitive chess, the series was based on a book and is fictional in nature.

Now we get to learn more about a real chess champion, 9-year-old Tani Adewumi, who along with his family, settled into a New York City homeless shelter after fleeing Nigeria. Fifteen months after arriving in the United States, with no prior knowledge or understanding of the game, Tani was crowned the New York chess champion. Looking for inspiration? Listen to Tani in this video – amazing to say the least.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe and have a Funday Sunday…..and Go Hawks!

Headlines. Speed Kills.

You Can’t Be Serious? Amazing Pace.

  • A few headlines to ponder:

China Insists Shaking Skyscraper is Safe as Building Continues to Wobble. I am sure the credible information from the building’s architects and engineers will convince office workers to return. 🙂

Millions of Mice are Swarming Australian Towns. Now There’s a Plan To End the Plague With Poison. I would assume that PETA is now involved?

Comedian Performs for Gatorland’s Alligators in a New Special. Only in Florida can anyone ‘perform’ for any alligator. Odd, to say the least.

Big Alligator Joins Drive-Thru Line at Texas Taco Shop. Speaking of odd…

Dictator Kim Jong-Un Bans Mullets and Skinny Jeans. With all things considered, this is top of mind to govern the North Korean population?

Two Elderly Men Sneak Out Of A Nursing Home To Attend Heavy Metal Festival. Maybe Nine Inch Nails does resonate with the elderly?

And finally, and maybe of most importance: No, Asking For Your Vaccination Status is Not a HIPAA Violation. As I have mentioned in one or more posts, how will private businesses and entities use this ruling with customers, attendees, passengers, and employees?

  • Inspiration

I played soccer for (too) many years. I had the privilege and honor of playing with and against many players who had tremendous pace – speed that both surprised and amazed me. There is a saying in sport that speed compensates for the lack of other attributes – and soccer is no different. Speed to me is astonishing and to witness it firsthand is quite shocking. I will never forget playing a practice match inside Kennesaw State University’s 400-meter track as their track team was training. The incredible sound generated from these remarkable track athletes basically stopped our match as both teams looked in wonderment at their sheer speed.

There are now and previously many great U.S. Olympic track teams that gave all of us enjoyment and medals at previous Olympic Games. Then I consider the small island of Jamaica and the number of male and female sprinters that have come from this Caribbean paradise. To me it is remarkable that a country of less than 3 million people can generate the number of world-class sprinters…many who have claimed Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals. It has been nine years or so, but I will never forget the 2012 Olympic Games, with Usain Bolt anchoring Jamaica’s 4 x 100 relay team. Their sheer speed, timing, and seamless handoffs were remarkable – along with Bolt’s 100-meter leg that saw him blow away his opponents. Teamwork is a great inspiration for me. Move the cursor to the 1:30 mark.

How does a small island nation produce world-class sprinters year after year?

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday! Note: Memorial Day is celebrated a week from tomorrow – please fly the flag.

The DarkSide. Ponder This.

An Energy Executive’s View. A Few Items On My Mind. “I’ve Got This.”

  • Along with the rest of the craziness happening worldwide, the Southeast United States endured a week-long gasoline nightmare with Russian hackers taking down the Colonial Pipeline supply lines. Gas stations out of fuel, long lines of cars waiting to fill their tanks, and tempers flaring from Pensacola to Roanoke. After many days of uneasiness, it seems the Colonial Pipeline, after reports of the company having to pay a “ransomware” up to $5M, is back up and running, with fuel trucks back on the road hopefully providing a level of normalcy.

We are all asking questions about IT infrastructure and redundancy, and how hackers from Russia named DarkSide could use the internet to shut down systems running Colonial’s fuel pipeline. The exact methodology of how hackers like DarkSide accomplish this needs to be answered by a much higher authority, but the reality of the situation poses even more questions of greater magnitude – and that is our electrical grid system. For a much better take on the subject of electricity, I asked my friend Tracy, an executive with a leading energy provider, to give us her insight into the world of power and sustainability:

We need to take this Colonial Pipeline hack seriously and we need to prioritize protecting our critical energy resources. ‘We’ includes both the Federal Government as well as the private sector. My focus/job is more on our electric grid and renewable energy dependency. I live in Texas and we learned a hard lesson on the value of electricity to provide not only power, but to pump natural gas and water during what we now so fondly call “Snowpocalypse.” Hopefully most will not have to learn the lesson the way we did.

What I think we need to remain focused on is the balance between green and brown power and the importance of both. Our reliability on green power is growing across the U.S. and I think that is the right direction in which to move. We do need to consider the threats of relying on renewables (Wind and Solar). What happens when there is a cloud cover? The wind stops blowing? Or hackers shut down the wind and solar farms? We rely on grid power. I think we need all of it so we have more than one resource to rely on and people are not left without electricity. It doesn’t just keep us from having the lights on, it costs lives.

One final note, if you haven’t read “Ready Player One,” I highly recommend it and I don’t mean watch the movie…in the book the entire premise is the crash of the electric grid. The setting is: In the year 2045, the world is gripped by an energy crisis and global warming, causing widespread social problems and economic stagnation. 2045? 2025? And that’s MY take.

As Tracy mentions, we have all experienced the uncomfortable and sometimes dire situation of being without power, for as little as an hour or sometimes for days. Heavy storm systems and other variables have shut down power grids around the world so what happens when the same happens ‘on demand,’ or in other words a hacker like DarkSide uses keystrokes to target a specific city’s electrical grids? Unlikely to happen?

I know, it sounds like a plot from a Bruce Willis action movie, but The Department of Homeland Security has recently disclosed new details about the extent to which Russia has infiltrated “critical infrastructure” like American power plants, water facilities, and gas pipelines. So while we experience fuel shortages from a hack of pipeline, the taking down of multiple electrical grid systems for long periods of time would disrupt every part of our daily lives. Many of us previously shrugged our shoulders at the term “Cyber Warfare.” The event last week quickly reminded us that the term is very real.

Things To Ponder:

  • Has anyone looked into Bob Baffert’s horse training methodology?
  • Delta Air Lines requiring all new hires to be vaccinated. Questions?
  • How good are the Atlanta Hawks? Very.
  • A BOLO (you know what a BOLO is) – for a Tiger roaming Houston, Texas.
  • 2,000 years of conflict in the Middle East – will it ever end?
  • Mask off. The CDC thinks the honor system will work?
  • ARod and JLo are finally quiet. Good luck Ben.
  • A Friends reunion. Yawn.
  • A Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer reunion. Again a yawn.
  • For a final note, a feel good moment. If you are having a tough day watch this video…and remember “I’ve Got This.”
“I’ve Got This.”

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

Mom. Crash And Burn. BayWatch. Questions.

Celebrate Your Mom. A Rocket’s Red Glare. Swim Strong, Swim Fast. Answers Please.

  • Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Yes, many of us live away from our mom, have had a contentious relationship with her, or our 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 every mom. 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.” Not all of us can gather to celebrate Mother’s Day, but at the very least, no matter the situation, call your mom and show your respect and appreciation. Just do it.
Jerry’s mom being a mom.
  • I will try to keep this on the light side – but there is nothing ‘light’ about a 21-ton rocket on a collision course with earth. It is apparent that the Chinese miscalculated, with their latest rocket, at 100-feet long and traveling at 17,000 m.p.h., making an uncontrollable re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. There are several possible places where debris that survives re-entry could crash down. Among them are New York, Madrid and Beijing in the Northern Hemisphere and southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand, in the Southern Hemisphere. The re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere is scheduled for anytime between tonight and noon tomorrow. Here is to hoping it crashes in the middle of an ocean. A side note: the Chinese are planning on ten additional rocket launches between now and the middle of 2022. Perfect.
Las Vegas was taking bets…..
  • As we head into May and warm coastal temperatures, we all look forward to heading to the beach and enjoying the ocean water. Just a reminder that these waters are in no way governed by us, but by the creatures who have owned the seas for thousands of years. Regarding sharks, there has always been the myth of staying out of the water at dusk, but as you can see in this video, shot with a drone near Malibu, California, the presence of sharks and the time of day have no relevance. Happy surfing!
“Jaws” led to everyone staying out of the water….

Ten Questions:

  • Any thoughts on Elon Musk hosting tonight’s Saturday Night Live?
  • Regarding Covid-19 and the vaccines, is herd immunity important to you?
  • Is it too soon to open stadiums and arenas to 100% capacity?
  • What sentence does the judge hand down to Derek Chauvin?
  • Is Jonathan Bauer the hero of 2021 to date? (Google to find out more).
  • I did not, but did you buy copper futures weeks ago? I hope so.
  • Will the unemployed return to the workforce once their increased benefits stop?
  • How did a 6th-grader have access to a handgun?
  • If you work from an office, are you looking forward to not working from home?
  • What are you doing for your mom or someone’s mom tomorrow?

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Top Of Mind Things I Think.

  • Is anyone wondering how public and private entities are going to handle people who have and have not been vaccinated? I see all types of issues bubbling up.
  • What caused the very sad and alarming Covid-19 situation in India?
  • Other than a friend of mine who scrolls the Entertainment News ticker across his laptop screen, is anyone interested in Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriquez?
  • Ingress and egress. Two words never more important than Thursday night in northern Israel. Shame on the authorities who permitted this “festival.”
  • Orlando City – last night was a really nice night in a great stadium, and a great game at that. Orlando City scored 30 seconds into the game and never let up.
  • In my never-ending battle to understand lift, can someone please explain:
Any questions?
  • SpaceX is creating a crowd. Last Thursday’s launch from Kennedy Space Center marked the company’s 27th Starlink mission, which so far has deployed over 1,500 satellites into space. Strangely enough, Elon Musk is scheduled to host the next Saturday Night Live – no, not kidding.
  • Speaking of space, NASA’s ARTEMIS-1 mission is scheduled for early November. A huge step was the delivery of the Core Stage 1 booster rocket from the Huntsville, Alabama space exploration facility to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This early November launch will set the stage for the manned Artemis-3 mission, which will land on the moon in 2024.
The Core-Stage 1 – floating on a barge towards the Vehicle Assembly Building.
  • Speaking of taking a ride, the new Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal Studios is set to open in early June. Some friends of mine who work at Universal have told me this experience will be “fantastic.” I guess “fantastic” is the operative word. Details:

Top Speed: 70 mph in 2.4 seconds.

360° barrel roll over a lagoon.

100’ first of its kind inverted stall (what the hell is an “inverted stall?”)

155’ top hat with 80° drop.

12 total seconds of airtime (I did not bother to ask what “airtime” really means?).

My level of interest with experiencing this ride: how about zero! No, and No.
  • An Early Season Take – Atlanta United.

After last Tuesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League loss to Philadelphia, I heard from many friends asking for my thoughts, etc. Below is what I posted on Wednesday morning. Note: Atlanta United lost last night to New England and both Jurgen Damm and Ezequiel Barco left the game with hamstring injuries.

From an Atlanta United perspective, 50% of something is better than 0% of nothing. For the first 45 minutes, other than one of two big miscommunications that led to Philadelphia’s first goal, which was completely against the run of play, the Five Stripes looked very good. So good in fact, we did not get too upset with the lack of finishing passes or finishing in that first half. “Not too upset” other than that famous cliché “you get punished for not taking your chances.”

The amount of pressure and speed of play Atlanta exhibited in the first half became a false narrative. Maybe Philadelphia manager Jim Curtain’s tactic was the infamous “rope-a-dope” and a bit of luck as the Union were able to suck up Atlanta’s onslaught in the first 45 – and then purely out-managed Gabriel Heinze in the last 45. Yes, Curtain’s magic was also supported by Atlanta’s inability to serve a quality ball and finish, as well as their panic-stricken effort to get everyone forward in the second half. Was the Union’s counter attack that good or did Atlanta provide a path to numerical advantage?

No Atlanta supporter will be upset at Gabriel Heinze’s high-pressure, attacking style of play. What they might be upset with is what I will refer to as “two-leg maturity.” There is obviously a risk-reward factor to Atlanta’s get-forward mentality, and in a League match, to lose a game 3-0 due to that ethos is just part of a long season. To maintain that mentality in a two-game CCL quarterfinal is both short-sighted and ignorant. I won’t go into detail on possession, number of crosses, number of chances, and shots on goal, but it is a sure bet that Heinze will do so in videotape sessions.

Atlanta finds itself in a precarious short-term situation. A short rest and last night’s visit to Bruce Arena’s New England Revolution, and then the CCL quarterfinal return leg at Philadelphia three days later. Questions to ponder: is Jurgen Damm unlucky or is his speed his only real asset? Is the talented Marcelino Moreno best utilized on the flank? When do we see a match fit Josef Martinez…and if match fit, when will he get to impose his will? Did Gabriel Heinze learn some lessons last night? As I stated to various people leading up to last night’s match, did Curtain, and will subsequent managers, employ tactics to expose the Five Stripes on the counter-attack? Yes, and yes.

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