Long Live The King. Offspring. Speed. A Customized Delta Force.

Following In The Footsteps Of Queen Elizabeth II. Who’s Laughing Now? The Carlos Alcaraz. “Bring Everyone”

  • She came to the throne in 1952 and gave seventy years of her life as the UK’s longest serving monarch. Fifteen UK prime ministers served her, starting with Winston Churchill. Last week, in her last official ceremony, she welcomed new prime minister Elizabeth Truss. Queen Elizabeth II died last Thursday at the age of ninety-six. I did not know much about the Queen, but I did read some interesting things about the British monarch:
  • Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Margaret, never went to school. They were tutored at home.
  • She was married to Philip for seventy-three years before his death in April of 2021. Philip was born into the royal families of Greece and Denmark but renounced his original titles when he married Elizabeth.
  • Over 80% of UK residents were not alive when Elizabeth ascended the throne.
  • During her seventy-year reign, she met fourteen different U.S. presidents.
  • Her stamina was amazing. In 2015, at the age of eighty-nine, Queen Elizabeth II carried out 341 royal engagements, more than Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate combined during that year. She made more than 260 official overseas trips.
  • Queen Elizabeth’s famous quote after becoming the U.K.’s monarch: “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

She was only twenty-one when delivering this speech, not knowing in a few short years, upon the death of her father, King George VI, she would become the Queen. At twenty-one, I was lucky enough to put ten words together, nonetheless address the world:

RIP Queen Elizabeth II

  • Offspring. No, not the band of the 1990’s, but the offspring of what I consider the greatest protagonist of all time. My friends gave me a good bit of raucous grief when I posted my Godzilla-King Kong comparison, lamenting my deep admiration for Godzilla. Well, who is laughing now, and more importantly where is this nasty creature’s mother? Yep, stay in your lane and deal with it.
Don’t Even Start With Me That This Is Not The Son Of Godzilla.

  • I have played (sort of) and watched a good bit of tennis over the years. I enjoy playing for all the good reasons including Vitamin D, a bit of exercise, and some good camaraderie. I usually do not enjoy watching tennis unless it is the U.S. Open or Wimbledon. I have admired the great professionals of the past, especially Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe, fierce competitors who fired up the crowd and left it all on the court. Sure, there are today’s awesome players including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic, but a new dawn has set on the sport, and his name is Carlos Alcaraz. He reminds me of a right-handed Rafael Nadal, while maintaining the demeanor of Federer and the fitness level of Djokovic. There is another discernible difference with Alcaraz, and it is called speed. Yes, Nadal in his earlier years was very fast, as was Michael Chang and Gael Monfils, but Alcaraz is gifted with that other speed that will set him up for success in the years to come. He is only nineteen and enters this afternoon’s men’s final at the U.S. Open as my favorite. This is one of many examples of his pure speed on the court:
Carlos Alcaraz – Any Questions?

By the way, the women’s U.S. Open champion, Iga Świątek, is very much a carbon copy of Alcaraz, with amazing court coverage and tremendous court speed. She has now played in three major finals and won all three. Amazing.

  • This is my headline of the week, and can we just make Kim Jong Un go away? “North Korea will ‘automatically’ launch nukes if Kim killed” Seriously, how do the leaders of the world put up with this strange, unbalanced individual?
  • Congratulations to Orlando City for capturing the U.S. Open Cup. Exploria Stadium near downtown Orlando was rocking last Wednesday night.
  • I do not have to go into any extensive detail. Twenty-one years ago today.
  • It is day two hundred of the Russian invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Yes, everyone, day two hundred. Is it time for everyone’s Delta Force of Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Liam Neeson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Jason Statham, and Jean Reno to pay a visit to the Kremlin? Yes, I listed Jean Reno, because there was no nastier badass than Reno in his role as Leon in the movie The Professional.
Jean Reno Starred In the 1994 Classic The Professional

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

A Quick Read To Start Off September.

A Few Short Takes To Start Off The Month.

It is Labor Day weekend. The U.S. Open and college football are in play, and worldwide, the other football is also in full swing. Here are a few things I think I think as we move into the Fall, Halloween, and the year-end holiday season:

  • I have belabored the point of electric cars and what seems to be a suspect power grid infrastructure. I have also discussed California’s directive regarding the year 2035 and their stance on no further sales of gasoline-powered cars. Then we read that on Friday of last week the state of California has requested that all electric car owners slow their rate of charging their cars – because the state’s power grid is failing due to extreme heat. Make your own assessment of this situation.
  • It is okay to shower in Jackson, Mississippi. It is not okay to open your mouth while showering. The city’s water treatment facility is not working and has been out of order for five days. This is 2022, right?
  • Orlando City meets Sacramento this Wednesday night in the U.S. Open final at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium. This game has been sold out for weeks, and it is Orlando City’s first opportunity to earn silverware. Get it done Orlando City!
Orlando’s Exploria Stadium.
  • I felt really bad for the 300,000 people who made their way to the space coast for last Monday’s launch of Artemis I. I did find it strange that after all the testing and performance protocols, issues with a hydrogen bleed line did not rear its ugly head until forty minutes before launch. The news yesterday was not any better as NASA once again scrubbed the launch, with the projected launch window to be determined at a later date.
  • I do not know the details of climate change. What I do know is that many bodies of water in the United States, including Nevada’s Lake Mead, are drying up at a very fast rate. At the same time one third of Pakistan is under water due to massive flooding. Regarding the climate, make it a point to visit Death Valley, California in the next few days to enjoy temperatures reaching 125°F. Seriously, what the hell is going on? (No pun intended.)
Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Serena Williams. An amazing professional tennis career. It will be interesting how she enjoys being a mom and manages her business enterprises, including her venture capital firm.
  • The Napoleon complex at its finest. Vladimir Putin did not bother attending yesterday’s funeral of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last leader. A snub or just Putin’s narcissistic mind and manner?
  • How does everyone feel about the updated Covid-19 boosters?
  • Headline of the week: More than 40% of Americans think civil war is likely within a decade.”
  • Labor Day is tomorrow. Celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labor Day is designated to pay tribute to the achievements of American workers. As always, a special tribute to all healthcare workers and first responders. Please everyone, fly your flag.
Good Morning America does a great job with this Labor Day segment.
  • This time of year can be great with the summer behind us and all the good things the Fall brings. Speaking of good, this band earned more than fifty Gold and Platinum albums and sold over 100 million albums worldwide, earning them a solid spot as one of best selling music artists of all-time. I have seen Earth, Wind, & Fire twice, and it is amazing that they can play for two hours and you know every song they play.
September from Earth, Wind, & Fire.

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

Already The End Of August.

California Takes A Stance – Imagine That? Artemis I Goes Big. Student Loans Paid For By Whom? Negative Vibes From The Fed Chairman. A Feel Good Moment.

  • In discussing what looks to be a major pivot from many automobile manufacturers to electric and hybrid, we now turn our attention to the always interesting state of California. In addressing their growing concern for the climate and carbon pollution, California announced last week that they will require automakers to only sell new electric and hybrid cars in the state by 2035. This rule follows on the footsteps of the European Union (EU), who is floating a proposal to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars and is awaiting their member countries’ input and actions. This may seem insignificant with thirteen years to go until 2035, but my take is that the ripple effects of California’s stance on creating a zero-emissions transportation future will follow suit in many other states. Comments and concerns?

  • I have given my take on the onslaught of electric vehicles, supporting some of my concerns with perspective from power grid executives in Texas and Arizona. On top of all the power supply and recharging issues I have mentioned, here comes a eye-opening tidbit from Ford Motor Company: On August 9, the group from Dearborn, Michigan, announced an increase in the price of the F-150 Lightning, the electric version of the iconic F-150 pickup. These price increases were between $6,000 and $8,500 depending on the model. The base price of the F-150 Lightning model year 2023 thus climbed between $47,000 and $97,000, compared to approximately $40,000 to $92,000 for model year 2022 vehicles. These prices obviously exclude taxes, delivery, and other charges.

I have no words other than to say that this electric vehicle planning, implementation, and execution strategy may be a bit of course.

  • Word of the week: With respect to the lawyers who read this blog: I have learned to love the word “redacted.” Could this be the most overused word ever? 🙂

  • Launch pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center is a must-see on Monday morning. At 8:33am tomorrow the Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis I is scheduled to make its debut launch on a 42-day mission. The space program, energized by private space exploration entities in not-so friendly competition, has never been more popular and top-of-mind. So mainstream in fact, that Brevard County officials are expecting up to 300,000 people to swarm their county to witness this launch. This is on a Monday morning, with most children in Florida back in school. I have discussed the significance of this launch in previous posts, but as a reminder, tomorrow morning’s launch and 42 days in space is a precursor to a manned mission sometime in 2024. That mission, Artemis II, will include four astronauts, followed by Artemis III in 2025, which will put two astronauts back on the moon. As I can watch the launch from my condo building near downtown Orlando, the “breakfast at Artemis” invitation is open. I thought my watch party idea was significant until I read this from Space.com: “As of last Wednesday night, there were over 4,000 registered private watch parties — including events slated to take place in family homes, classrooms, schools and universities. And there were nearly 2,500 registered public watch parties slated to kick off at museums, NASA Visitor Centers, planetariums, and more, according to Patricia Moore, an Artemis outreach strategist.” So much for my novel watch party idea.
Artemis I utilizes the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System – everyone clear on that?

  • Music, most of the time, is a common denominator. Everyone favors music they enjoy listening to, as well as watching talent perform on stages at various venues around the world. Talent is in the eyes and ears of the beholder, and Chris Stapleton, to me, is the epitome of the word talent.
Chris Stapleton at his best.
  • $24 billion a year. That is the amount of money the White House estimates the cost of funding, supporting, and facilitating the Student Loan Cancellation Program. I will not comment on whether I support the program or not, but here are a few other cost estimates and some interesting ramifications from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business: We estimate that President Biden’s proposed student loan debt cancellation alone will cost between $469 billion to $519 billion over the 10-year budget window, depending on whether existing and new students are included. About 75% of the benefit falls to households making $88,000 or less per year. Under strict “static” assumptions about student borrowing behavior and using take-up rates within existing income-based repayment programs, the proposed new income-driven repayment (IDR) program will cost an additional $70 billion, increasing total package costs to $605 billion. However, depending on future details of the actual IDR program and concomitant behavioral changes, the IDR program could add another $450 billion or more, thereby raising total plan costs to over $1 trillion. Of course this decision by the Administration has politicians chiming in with the usual bipartisan rhetoric. Here is another example of why I ‘quit’ politics a long time ago. It does NOT matter who stated this, and what their political alignment leans towards. It only matters that it was said – uncalled for, unfounded, and disgusting: “…Like, holy cow! 20 grand. You know, maybe you weren’t going to vote in November, and suddenly you just got 20 grand. And you know, if you can get off the bong for a minute and head down to the voting station,” he continued. “It could drive up turnout particularly among young people.”

Due to my ethos of no politics, no religion, I will not provide my thoughts on the loan forgiveness program. I will leave those thoughts and comments to you.

  • A big thank you to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for his positive and stirring comments on inflation and the economy in general. Without REALLY explaining why official interest rates are so low if inflation is “dangerously” high, his rant on Friday resulted in the S&P falling 3.4 percent and the DJIA ending 1,000+ points down. Well done, Chairman Powell.

  • A match between Argentine First Division clubs can always be rough, rugged, and dramatic. Our feel-good moment of the week shows this young man comforting Newell’s Old Boys goalkeeper Ezequiel Unsain, who gave up a stoppage time winning goal to rival club Boca Juniors. We ALL need more of this – all day, every day.
No way security personnel were going to get in the way of this moment.

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

The Good & Bad – The Dog Days of August.

Positive Thinking, Positive Vibes. Bearing It. Thoughts. All Along The Watchtower.

It has been an interesting eight months of 2022. I call it socio-economic fatigue. There are some real worldwide issues affecting most of us around the world, many of them escalated by media outlets yearning for greater ratings.

  • The Russians continued assault on the sovereign nation of Ukraine.
  • A U.S. political system that yields so much energy-draining nonsense.
  • A nuclear power plant in Ukraine on the verge of a meltdown.
  • Cartels turning Mexican tourist areas into war zones.
  • The continued barrage of terrorism from jihadists in Mogadishu.
  • Droughts and flooding, and the continued discussion of climate change.
  • Both pilots on a commercial airliner falling asleep and missing their landing.
  • Supply chain and inflation woes.
  • 22 million people at the risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa.
  • The continued battle with viruses and volatile organic compounds.

Those are ten top of mind problems and issues that continue to bombard us day in, and day out. I say enough of the negative vibes and let us look to our bear friends for a bit of fun and levity.

  • One of my favorites of all time, for many reasons, is this ‘traffic-control’ bear working the roads of Yosemite National Park. One bear versus seven road workers standing around wasting our tax dollars. I will take the bear.
“Smarter Than Your Average Bear”
  • Regarding bears, here is some very good creative from the brand John West and their canned red salmon product. Really well done.
A spot from John West Red Salmon.

What Am I Thinking?

  • College football is right around the corner, followed by the NFL, NHL, and NBA. The MLS and MLB playoffs start in five weeks.
  • Florida is thinking about using veterans to fill open teaching positions around the state. Clever idea, or not so much?
  • Has anyone ever stayed at Mar-a-Lago? I have not, but when in the Palm Beach area of Florida check out The Eau Resort, The Breakers, the Brazilian Court Hotel, and the Four Seasons.
  • Is it just the summer vibe, or does there seem to be a rapid rise with shark attacks from Maine to Florida?
  • Is anyone else wondering about the go-forward with cryptocurrencies?
  • The headline of the week: “Venice mayor calls out ‘imbeciles’ surfing Italian city’s historic canals.”
Just another day in Venice.

I am often reminded of the great music talent you can find at a music venue or on a side street. Yes, I am both jealous and envious of this gentleman, who does a great job with All Along the Watchtower, which was written by Bob Dylan and famously performed by Jimi Hendrix.

A great version of All Along The Watchtower.

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

Hit By A Pitch. Grease. Short Takes. Tech On Set.

Empathy And Sportsmanship. RIP Olivia Newton-John. Top-of- Mind Thinking. Talent Training At WLS/Chicago.

  • We can all use a moment of levity and good news. What could have turned into a serious medical issue, or a usual brawl between two baseball teams, turned into the moment of the week. This young man shows tremendous empathy and class to the pitcher who had just hit him with a pitch. I know the dynamics of pitchers beaning batters at the professional level are different, but maybe Major League Baseball should make this video a mandatory watch for their players? I know, I am dreaming…
A Great Moment for Little League Baseball.

  • I had a crush on her, forever. She could sing, act, and was no doubt gorgeous. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner whose music career included five number-one hits and other top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She made John Travolta much better with her performance in Grease, which became the highest-grossing musical film ever at the time and whose soundtrack remains one of the world’s best-selling albums of all time. Olivia Newton-John passed away last week after a lengthy battle with cancer. Her passing provided me with a flood of good memories.

We then learn about Olivia Newton-John’s lineage, and her famous grandfather and father. Her grandfather was the physicist and mathematician Max Born, who fled Nazi Germany to continue his work with quantum mechanics (anyone want to chime in on quantum mechanics?). In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics but was better recognized for his efforts to help people escape Nazi Germany. Her father, Brinley Newton-John, also has his own place in history. He was a British intelligence officer who was involved with the capture of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess. Olivia Newton-John was a magical performer with a storied family history.

Who could forget this music video which was produced in the early days of the aerobic craze? RIP Olivia Newton-John.

She Will Be Missed.

Short Takes For Mid-August

  • Just asking: How long is the world going to stand by and watch Putin’s Russian troops demolish the country of Ukraine?
  • Regarding the question above, the Ukraine power plant in Zaporizhzhya is on the brink of a nuclear disaster in Europe. Hello NATO?
  • Does anyone what to chime in with answers on inflation, with low unemployment and better supply chain dynamics, as well as the markets up 10% in the last three weeks. Anyone?
  • We are two weeks away from college football. Nothing else needs to be said. 🙂
  • Headline of the week from the Tampa Bay Times: Why is The Villages known as ‘the STD capital of America?’ (FYI: The Villages is a massive, planned development in Central Florida saturated with over-55 communities.)
  • A telling tale of what?: College enrollment is down four million in the last decade.
  • A CEO crying while announcing layoffs and firings at HyperSocial, a Columbus, Ohio online marketing firm. He did this on LinkedIn. I have no words.
  • With all due respect, size matters. The foldable phone is coming fast, first from Samsung and Motorola. The tag line: “A large screen that folds in half so you can put it in your pocket.” That is some well thought out product marketing.

  • I spend a good bit of time ‘on set’ at television networks and their affiliates around the country. Television news, especially local affiliates, are very competitive with everything they do. Many affiliates differentiate themselves from their competition with the technology used on their sets – to present and show off their content and storytelling. As technology has evolved with lower price points, news affiliates are starting to use large LED walls, seamless monitor arrays, and touchscreens, similar to what we might see used on networks including France 24, The Weather Channel, BBC, CNN, and Fox News. WLS TV is an ABC affiliate in the large television market of Chicago. Is Greg, the weather person, messing with us or did his news director and chief engineer not advise him about their new touch-screen technology? Embarrassingly funny.
Obviously, Greg did not get the message about touchscreen technology.

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

Energy V.3. Devastation In Kentucky. Three In One. Low-Life.

A Video To Substantiate. Please Donate. Space Launches. Conspiracy Theories Taken Way Too Far.

  • My long-time friend Tom A. offered up this conservative think tank’s point of view. This short video does not specifically discuss the electric vehicle world, focusing more on alternative types of energy. I am not suggesting that the statements made in the video are true or false. That task is yours…to give us your take on energy – where we were, where we are now, and most importantly where we are headed with energy production.

  • Most of our everyday lives are very busy. It is understandable but unfortunate that we forget that there are many people in need, including the people in the Central Appalachia region between Manchester, Kentucky and Grundy, Virginia. Below is the donation link for the Red Cross. Please take five minutes and donate to help all of those in need. https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/
Devastation in Kentucky.

  • Thursday of last week was the busiest day for space launches ever for commercial companies in the United States. United Launch Alliance (ULA), Blue Origin, and SpaceX launched unmanned and manned rockets into space on the same day – unprecedented and unthinkable even five years ago. ULA sent a Space-Based infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO 6) spacecraft, paid for by the U.S. Air Force. ‘Space warfare’ is obviously in play as the SBIRS GEO 6 is a missile detection and early warning satellite that was designed and built to detect ballistic missile threats around the world. This launch was followed by Blue Origin’s suborbital rocket, manned by everyday folks paying big money for the 11 to 13 minute flight. This launch was followed by a SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Korean satellite from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. What a day for the commercial space program!
“……Are you ready for some space flight?”

  • He finally conceded that the Sandy Hook tragedy was real, and not a hoax. This is a 48-year-old ‘conspiracy theorist’ who has a nationally syndicated radio show. His years of false claims about Sandy Hook resulted in a defamation lawsuit with parents of children lost in the tragedy. They filed a $150 million lawsuit for damages for his false claims. Alex Jones: you should be ashamed of yourself. You are, in a word, a low-life.
Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist. Apple, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify have removed most of Alex Jones’ programming from their services.

  • Growing up, my brother and I watched a good bit of basketball. There is no comparison to today’s NBA, but there were some players, who pound-for-pound, stood out amongst the rest. In the video below, the great Jerry West, who played many years with Wilt Chamberlain, tells all of us about the late Bill Russell. Russell’s death struck a chord with me as I always felt he was the most impactful (not the best) basketball player I had ever watched play. RIP Bill Russell.

I obviously enjoy watching these young kids experience music they are not familiar with…her smile is priceless!! I will slow my roll with these videos – but they are very cool.

The one and only Carlos Santana.

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

A Viewpoint.

Things I’m Thinking About At The End Of July.

  • The state of Georgia made a big play for Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer that has started off with a pickup truck to take on Ford and GM. From what I have read from Rivian buyers, Georgia’s tax benefits to Rivian may have been a big waste of money.
  • While Atlanta United continues to try to find their way back to prominence, Orlando City finds itself, after very tough tournament opponents, in the U.S. Open Cup final. The September 7 match at Orlando’s Exploria Stadium is almost sold out.
  • Will Smith. Your apology ON YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED was predictable and weak, and almost five months after your uncalled-for incident at the Academy Awards. You might want to find a crisis communication executive to set you straight with the proper way to discard your pompous attitude. I actually have someone in mind for you.
  • There is no political or religious viewpoint with this question: Is it strange that a Saudi-funded golf tournament is taking place fifty miles from New York City?
  • I am still awaiting my plea for someone to enlighten me with the relationship between layoffs in the tech sector, the downshift in the crazy real estate market, and the major indexes moving sharply higher over the last three days? Anyone? Bueller?
Can someone please chime in?
  • Many people, including some close friends, are rolling their eyes when Monkeypox is mentioned. Their reaction to Monkeypox is no doubt aligned with their Covid-19 apathy, but Monkeypox is not Covid-19, in some good and bad ways. I know I have stated this previously, but if the W.H.O. and C.D.C. are having trouble identifying and dealing with Covid-19 and its variants, god forbid other viruses, which may include Ebola and Marburg, ever hit the shores of North America. Before you roll your eyes again, two Marburg virus cases have prompted Ghana to prepare for a potential outbreak of the disease.
  • Is anyone else ready for football? We are one month away from the college season as their first games are August 27. The following weekend, the big game is Oregon at Georgia in the Chik-Fil-A kickoff classic. The other football (the predominant one) kicked off yesterday with the FA Community Shield, with next Friday being the start to the Premier League.
  • Regarding football, this is a first-watch video from some young guys who have obviously never experienced an international football (soccer) match in-person. This video speaks volumes…you decide on what atmosphere is more impactful.
Have you ever been to Anfield to watch Liverpool or Signal Iduna Park to watch Dortmund?

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

Electric Vehicles – Viewpoint v2. Short Takes. Santa’s World Cup.

A Response On EVs. Things I Think. Fox Does It Right With Their World Cup Promo Spot.

  • Last week I addressed the issues surrounding electric vehicles, specifically all things involving the recharging of an EV. Many thanks to T. A., an executive with a major power provider in Texas, who provided her insights and comments.

All of these are great points and many things not being discussed but rather the focus is on the cars themselves not on what it will take to support them. You’ve highlighted most of the issues at hand. As a power provider in TX my company is actively engaged in the discussion. The most recent discussion I was involved in was regarding federal fund allocation for a EV charging corridor. In TX we think about Buc-ee’s and Love’s having the space and right locations to support the charging stations. And if you haven’t been to a Buc-ee’s, you can definitely spend 30 minutes there!

This part is my opinion – current administration needs to consider the points you and JP are making. The idea we can have 100% renewable generation AND electric vehicles isn’t feasible. When wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine, we need traditional power source and yes to charge our homes and vehicles. One other thing I think about is where do all the dead batteries go? In the short term, it seems like we are doing great things for our environment by harnessing the wind and sun and moving us from gas powered vehicles, but batteries die (just like our phone batteries), and maybe parts get recycled but they also get buried and then what?

I could go on and on here, but end with a couple of positive notes. Power providers are engaged in the discussion. Elon is engaged in the energy discussion and it would help if other EV manufacturers would engage too. They may be and I just don’t know it. Its not just as simple as making an EV and making it affordable for more people. There are many downstream impacts for which EV manufacturers, energy companies and our administration are all responsible.

Ten Takes For July 24th.

  • I do not take any space launch for granted. As my condo building sits fifty-four miles directly east of the famous launch pad named LC-39, I make it a point to watch all rocket launches from the Kennedy Space Center. This morning’s Starlink mission was SpaceX’s thirty-third Falcon 9 launch THIS YEAR. Even five years ago, who would have imagined that the privatization of space exploration would scale so quickly?
  • Speaking of space, here is the headline of the week: Another Chinese Rocket Could Be Headed for a Dangerous Uncontrolled Reentry. Thanks for the heads up, China.
  • As of last week, the U.S. has supported Ukraine with $8.2 Billion since the start of Russia’s insurgency back in February. A staggering amount of money considering Russia’s continued and advancing occupancy of this sovereign nation’s territory.
Russia’s troops continue to advance in Ukraine.
  • JLo is back in the news, again. This time it is Ben Affleck. Speaking of Hollywood stars, here is a fantastic photo of Brad Pitt promoting his new film, Bullet Train. On the upside, I am looking forward to seeing Heat 2, from filmmaker Michael Mann.
Really, Brad?
  • We are five weeks away from the college football season. Let’s go!
  • One of the continued challenges of the tech sector is attracting and retaining their workforce. Take San Francisco for example: a third of their workforce is now remote, including massive Bag Area employers Google and Salesforce. The office vacancy rate in San Francisco is a still in the mid-20’s and most real estate executives feel that number may climb. Combine these statistics with the ongoing exodus of California companies to Texas and there is no doubt that the Bay Area will look much different in the next five years. This trend is not new as many corporations have moved their headquarters out of California since the beginning of 2018. Texas seems to be the ‘flavor of the month’ for most California companies to relocate to with over three hundred moving to the Lone Star state.
  • Staying with the tech sector, I read that the social media app, Snap, is tanking quickly. Can anyone, in a few words, tell me why anyone uses Snap?
  • As discussed over the last two posts, the automobile world is changing quickly. Last week, Cadillac announced their high-end entry in the electric vehicle segment. They named it CELESTIQ and is sells for $300,000. The promo video is very sexy, and they have a reservations list if interested. 🙂
Thanks Cadillac, but at $300,000, I will take an Aston-Martin or Bentley.
  • I stay completely away from politics but Vladimir Putin’s visit to Iran last week cannot be good on any level. Was his visit to rebuff the United States?
  • Here is an example about competing for the entertainment dollar: last night in downtown Orlando, two soccer games scheduled on the same night at nearly the same time. Orlando City played conference-leading Philadelphia at Exploria Stadium and Camping World Stadium hosted a friendly between two massive Premier League clubs, Chelsea and Arsenal. The Chelsea-Arsenal match drew close to 70,000. Any guess on the attendance for the Orlando City match? Very unfortunate scheduling to say the least.

  • Since the very first tournament in 1930, the World Cup has traditionally been played in the summer, regardless of where it has been held. However, the decision to host the 2022 competition in the winter months of the northern hemisphere formed a key part of Qatar’s bid. Despite long-standing opposition to departing from tradition, feasibility studies regarding the hot climate in Qatar, conducted by football’s governing body (FIFA), concluded that the tournament could not be played in June and July as normal. As a result, it was decided that this year’s World Cup would instead be held in the winter between November and December.

Fox holds the U.S. broadcasting rights to the tournament and has already started their promotional campaign with this very creative spot. The first of three promos stars Jon Hamm as Santa Claus, and it does not get any better than this.

Well done Fox Sports.

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

Questions Regarding Electric Vehicles. Stay Focused. Short Takes.

Are We Being Misled By EV Auto Manufactures? As If We Are Not Already Distracted. Eales. Extinction. Overspend.

  • In a previous post I wrote about the fast and furious approach major automobile manufacturers are taking with their electric vehicle strategies. I want to thank JP for inspiring me to once again take a look at electric vehicles. Here is an update:
  • Ford has split into two divisions: Model e, which is responsible for electric vehicles, and Ford Blue, which will maintain focus on producing their legacy internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
  • Ford will spend $2.3 billion at their Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri manufacturing plants to support the production of electric vehicles (EV).
  • Ford has previously invested $11.4 billion in EV production and batteries.
  • GM has announced that they will spend $35 billion on electric vehicle manufacturing by 2025.
  • GM has forecasted that their electric vehicle sales will reach 400,000 by the end of 2023.
  • Elon Musk has announced that Tesla will sell 1.4 million electric vehicles by year-end 2022.

On the surface, I believe the days of internal combustion engine-powered automobiles are numbered, especially as battery manufactures figure out how lithium-ion batteries and nano-batteries can provide over 600 miles of driving with each charge.

After a bit of digging around, there are some questions and concerns regarding EV’s entering the mainstream so quickly. One of them, of course, is the distance you can drive on one charge. There are other concerns, a few I need some help with – and one of our readers spends her time as a leader with a major utility company in Texas. I ask for TA‘s comments on some bullet points below.

  • Many utility companies have had little to say about alarming cost projections to operate EVs and possible increased rates they will charge their customers. TA, has your company commented on EVs and their impact on the power grid, etc.?
  • Above and beyond the total electricity required, there will be an increase in transmission lines to handle the expected increase in power needed to recharge the millions of EVs, both at home and at gas/charging stations. A home charging system for a Tesla requires a 75-amp service. The average house is equipped with 100-amp service. On most suburban streets the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses with a single Tesla. For half the homes on your block to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly overloaded. TA, is this correct?
  • Time and expense: Drivers today are accustomed to filling their gas tank in less than five minutes. EVs, depending on the size and specifications of the battery, typically take at least 30 minutes to get 80 percent charged at the fastest charging stations.
  • Charging speed limits: A 350-kilowatt fast charging station—the most powerful public charger available in the U.S. today—might be able to charge an Audi E-Tron SUV’s 95 kilowatt-hour battery in about 16 minutes. But the battery itself can only accept about 150 kilowatts of power at most, placing its actual charging speed limit closer to 40 minutes.
  • Though this analysis may be a bit over the top, it does make you wonder about the future of gas stations, convenience stores, and even fast-food chains who may offer up EV charging stations: “In order to match the 2,000 cars that a typical filling station can service in a busy 12 hours, an EV charging station would require 600, 50-watt chargers at an estimated cost of $24 million and a supply of 30 megawatts of power from the grid. That is enough to power 20,000 homes. No one likely thinks about the fact that it can take 30 minutes to 8 hours to recharge a vehicle between empty or just topping off. What are the drivers doing during that time?” TA, can you shed some light on this? More importantly, what are drivers and their FAMILIES going to do while their EV is charging? I see a big opportunity for fast-food chains, with both their food and playgrounds.
  • Land/real estate requirements: If you have cars coming into a gas station, they would stay for an average of five minutes. If you have EV cars coming into an electric charging station, they would be there for at least 30 minutes, possibly an hour, but let’s say its 30 minutes. So that’s six times the surface area to park the cars while they’re being charged. So, multiply every gas station in a city by six. Where are you going to find the place to put them?”
  • The used EV market. Here is an interesting scenario that no one is talking about: The average used EV will need a new battery before an owner can sell it, pricing them well above used internal combustion cars. The average age of an American car on the road is 12 years. A 12-year-old EV will be on its second or third battery. A Tesla battery typically costs $8,000- $10,000. Good luck trying to sell your used electric car.

Again, I believe that EVs will become the mainstream automobile in the very near future. What I would like to read are a few substantiated facts about EV manufacturers, charging station builders, transmission line contractors, battery producers, and the general strategy and plan to support the onslaught of EVs on our roads. To TA and all my readers: What is your take?

  • Speaking of automobiles, Hyundai is the massive South Korean conglomerate with American auto brands Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, and their new electric vehicle brand, Ioniq. Ioniq has introduced Hyundai Motor Company’s new entry into the EV market with many ‘outstanding features’, including the fold-out workspace. Seriously?
“I think I will generate some pivot tables while I drive to the office…..”

A few short takes for the middle of July:

  • “Doing” a startup in any type of business can be very difficult, especially in the professional sports space, and especially with the sport being soccer. Arthur Blank’s vision and Jim Smith’s planning and implementation of Atlanta’s Major League Soccer franchise is well-documented. Darren Eales was hired to execute the plan, and his efforts have paid off for Atlanta United on and off the field. Eales did many things really well, with Atlanta winning trophies and leading the league in attendance since its inception in the 2017 season. Last week, Eales announced he is leaving Atlanta to join the Premier League’s Newcastle United, a club with a historic past and new ownership with unlimited resources. I really like Darren Eales, and his departure for Newcastle is a fantastic step for his career. To Darren Eales: a job very well done. You helped put Atlanta on the world’s map as a soccer town – all the best for continued success at Newcastle!
  • Dr. Hans Sues is a paleontologist who is Senior Scientist and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Some of his comments in this video are obvious, and with that said some of his comments seem unfortunately true:
Is there any substance to this paleontologist’s comments?
  • Here is more evidence that the privatization of space is warranted: Since 2007 NASA has spent an estimated $420 million on new spacesuit designs without actually fielding any. Finally, after all those unsuccessful attempts, last month NASA announced it has opted to outsource the work and has selected two companies to design the next generation of spacesuits. Let me get this straight – taxpayer dollars in the amount of $420 million on the design of new spacesuits? So much for oversight committees and whistleblowers.
  • The lighter side of things: I have often written about my disdain for anyone who taunts and teases wild animals. Specifically, it makes me angry. If these two bicyclists bothered this ostrich in any manner, I for one am cheering for the animal in this race. By the way, an ostrich has a top speed of 43 miles per hour.
This ostrich maintained its speed during this eighty second video.

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

Hunger. My View.

On The Brink Of Starvation. A Few Short Takes.

  • Today marks day one hundred thirty seven of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with no end in sight. Ukrainians displaced, their infrastructure wavering, and many killed and injured. Early on, no one could predict the ramifications of this war spreading to countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. This war and its effect on world hunger is supported by a U.N. World Food Program analysis showing that “345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of starvation” which is a 25% increase from the start of 2022 before Russia invaded Ukraine. The reality of the war’s impact on hunger stems from the fact that Russia and Ukraine together accounted for almost a third of the world’s wheat and barley exports. From a food-growing standpoint, Russia and Belarus are the world’s number 2 and number 3 producers of potash, a key ingredient of fertilizer.

The cause and effect of this pending famine are many, but as a baseline the issues include Ukraine not being able to export wheat and other commodities, as well as Russia’s inability to ship grain and fertilizer to world markets. This disruption to supply chains are driving up food prices, and dovetailed with climate events, the lack of expansion in food production, the protection of farms and livestock, and cash for cereal and vegetable production, has led to an alarming rise in the level of hunger in many places around the world.

A Telling Tale of World Hunger. (as of March 2022).

The grim reality: predictions by more than one international agency state that many countries around the world are at famine levels, with a high level of destabilization, starvation, and mass migration on an unprecedented scale. Coming out of the pandemic and all the supply chain issues, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is devastating for many people around the world. How do we help? Contribute to a reputable world food agency. Here is one:http://www.wfpusa.org

Dateline July 10, 2022 — A Few Short Takes:

  • No matter your stance on gun acquisition and possession, you have to think there is a way to stem the mass killings, including the horror of July 4th in Highland Park, twenty-five miles north of Chicago. Yes, you do.
  • We lost two great actors last week. Everyone remembers James Caan in The Godfather (plus many more movies) and Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) in The Sopranos. RIP.
  • Last week’s Wimbledon quarterfinal between American Taylor Fritz and the one and only Rafael Nadal was incredible. I recorded the match and really did not think it would go five sets and over 4 hours. That ended up being a late night but well worth the watch.
  • I watched Top Gun: Maverick on the big screen last week. I thought the movie was done well, especially how the director tied in the new version with the original, 1986 version. For whatever the reason, if you have never seen the original Top Gun, make sure you watch that one first before you take in the latest version.
  • Regarding another type of aircraft, NASA’s Artemis missions will be highlighted by the newly designed Orion, the newest spacecraft built to take humans back to the moon, and eventually to Mars. The redesigned crew module, or capsule, provides living space for four astronauts for up to twenty-one days without docking to another spacecraft. The Orion includes a launch abort system (LAS), designed to protect the astronauts if a problem arises during launch. The amount of detail and engineering with the LAS is mind-boggling and hopefully will never need to be used.
A View of the Components of the Orion Spacecraft.
  • It seems that the World Health Organization is getting pressure to change the name of the Monkeypox virus. Bill Maher, a very smart and most of the time funny television host and comedian, asked the other night: “What monkey asked for the name to be changed?” Enough woke. Can’t we just get along?
  • The UK Prime Minister resigning and the former Prime Minister of Japan assassinated in the same week. It is time for something really good to happen in the world. Any great news would be welcomed.
  • Your digital footprint includes voice mails, conversations, videos and any other data and images stored on your phone, the Cloud, and your personal computers and tablet-type devices. Including myself, many people have sold or given away their old laptops – and to the best of our knowledge have deleted their files and emptied the recycle bin to ensure the data is gone. That is NOT the case as you must securely erase the hard drive. I strongly suggest that before you discard a laptop or personal computer, you Google how to fully wipe the hard drive.
  • Recession talk is top of mind but in the meantime the U.S. economy added 372,000 jobs in June. That kept the unemployment rate at a very low 3.6%. Would anyone like to shed some light on the recession fears and discuss how we can fix the very strange housing market?
  • As the word recession is thrown about, business and casual travel has increased dramatically over the last few months. Airlines and hotels have increased their fares and room night costs, trying to capitalize on the pent-up demand created by the pandemic. Case in point, here is an example of hotel room night rates this weekend in the St. Augustine, Florida area.
$355.00 per night at the Renaissance in downtown St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Speaking of looking for good news, the people of Lebanon, for years dealing with economic despair and political unrest, have reasons to be very proud. While this was just one act on America’s Got Talent, you would have to think that this performance has put a smile on the face of all Lebanese. In a word, amazing!
The Mayyas from Lebanon…fantastic!

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