Scary Smart

The link below will take you to a Nat Geo, May 2018 article.  The issue is entitled “Genius” .  I always regarded Chem Engineers, for one, as scary smart.

Tweety n Smart

A good friend of mine earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and then a PhD in emergency medicine.  I had a boss who I worked with on and off, due to job changes,  for maybe 8 years or so, another Chem Engineer — had a huge corporate job spanning domestic and international leadership for a multinational corporation.  And I have an investment advisor how works for a highly successful firm, yep, a Chem Engineer.

All Scary smart !  And all great people !

Here is the link to the above referenced Nat Geo article …, yep, scary smart.

Mapping the Stars…

***** S&E *****

Riding the Great Allegheny Passage !!! (GAP)

Five of us just competed the Gap trip from the Eastern Continental Divide in Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pa. This is the second year for the trip for me. Rigorous; always a life experience, enjoying the great outdoors for five days.

At the start !

Here is a summary:

 

Distance: 146 miles (225  km), 5 riding days on a crushed limestone path through the woods, tent camping at night.

On back or bike: Handlebar bag, backpack, rear saddle bags, and stuff on luggage rack .. About 40 lbs.

Fully packed bike at left.

Carried: Maps, clothes/shoes for 5 days, personal hygiene stuff, rain gear, tent and related equipment, sleeping bag, night lighting, tunnel lighting, extra bike parts and repair tools, energy bars and similar, medical emergency stuff, some food, folding table and chair, all in, about 65 items.  You say chair?  Your seat is thankful to have one after hours on that bike seat!

 

 

 

Rafting: our riding trail passed through a white water rafting area so we did a half day raft trip.

 

 

 

 

The Team Relaxing… we did a lot of relaxing!

 

Weather: rain for 3 of the 5 days; 2 of those days 2” and 3” downpours. We just rode through it.  Good news — dry nights and mornings so setting up camp and morning takedowns and re-packing the bikes, no rain !!!

Raccoons: Attack on last night — they made off with about 10 power bars and riding energy packets.  Where’s my gun!

At right, taking a break!

Equipment failures: None

Injuries: One – a broken metacarpal (hand) on the raft trip on the third day.  The dude completed the ride — tough!

***** S&E *****

 

The Rich and the Poor

We used a guide in Rome Italy when we visited there.  An American, our guide lived in Rome for 16 years, learned the lay of the land, and turned his love for the city into a job – Tour Guide.

As we were doing the tourists thing, since he lived in both countries long enough to understand the significant differences, I asked what those differences might be?  He instantly responded, In the USA the government is rich and the people poor… in Italy the government is poor and the people are rich”.

Today, April 17th the US Supreme Court will consider whether states can collect out-of-state sales tax for online purchases.  Currently, 45 states rely on sales tax as a revenue source, few are able to collect.

Governments are losing big bucks ….   How much?  Estimates range from $8 Billion to $13 Billion annually.  I know we want to give our governments more money as they manage it so responsibly!

I suspect the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the governments…. So I suspect we will continue to prove our Tour Guide’s statement accurate… in the USA, governments have more and the people less.

Here is the link to the entire NPR article….NPR news article, April 17, 2018

Was there not an event in Boston “a few years ago” over taxes and representation….?

This whole thing brings me back to the most overused, most inaccurate opening phase often cited by our elected “representatives” when they are addressing an issue…   “In the best interests of my constituents….”

***** S&E *****

 

Trump Appoints Ronny Jackson

I agree with the veterans groups as well as the legislators who question Trump’s appointment of Dr. Ronny Jackson.  He has little background in leading and managing large complex organizations.  He served his country admirably as a Navy Rear Admiral in war zones in medical capacities, in military medical facilities

According to a national news source:

 “Jackson was deployed to Iraq after he joined the 2nd Marines in 2005, according to his Navy biography. He served as the emergency medicine physician in charge of resuscitative medicine for a forward deployed Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon.

While still in Iraq, Jackson was tapped as a White House physician in 2006. He has overseen the physicians for Camp David presidential retreats, led the White House Medical Unit and directed the executive health care for the Cabinet and senior staff members, according to his biography. He’s been a White House physician since Bush”

None of his experience would indicate he has the skills, knowledge, and certainly not the credentials to LEAD and MANAGE the VA – 360,000, correct 360,000 employees who serve 9 million, yes 9 M veterans.  Similar size companies would be UPS 399K employees, Home Depot 340K employees, Toyota, 364K employees and Berkshire Hathaway, 367K employees.

The VA will require the skills of a highly experienced leader and manager, not necessarily a doctor, not necessarily a veteran, but experience that would indicate he/she can run an organization of that size.  Who might that be?  Pick a CEO of one of the Fortune 500 companies.  What about medical knowledge?  Skilled CEO’s careful pick direct reports who have the knowledge to run the “technical” side of the business … in this case, razor-sharp doctors with leadership skills, corporate style Chief Financial Officers, Information Technology executives, executives of medical equipment and engineering companies, and the like.

Certainly there are docs out there who have the experience to run the VA!  CEO’s of the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic would be examples.  Many hospital administrators are not doctors, but great leaders and managers, and successfully manage large medical organizations.

I hope for the sake of the vets that Dr. Jackson has the wherewithal to lead and manage the VA.   Odds are we are heading for another VA disaster.

As a side note, Trump does not have a great track record of picking outstanding leaders.  And, he has dismissed good leaders who don’t agree with him (Rex Tillerson). The thing is, poor leaders usually can’t pick great leaders!

*****S&E*****

Florida’s Teacher of the Year Bluntly Writes WHY School Violence Is Out of Control, February 19, 2018

 

By Daisy Luther

Kelly Guthrie Raley has been teaching for 20 years and currently educates kids at Eustis Middle School in Lake County, Florida. Just last month she was named the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.

The day after the horrific shooting that took place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, she posted a rant on Facebook that has since gone viral. In the post, she talked about parental responsibility, compassion, and respect…and more than 823,000 people have “liked” the post and agreed with it, while more than 649,000 have shared it with others.

Here’s what Mrs. Raley had to say:

Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say. I’ll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I’m a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn’t do anything else! But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation.

Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each other’s’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!

I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my ass out. My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules. They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, and pockets, anything! Parents: it’s time to STEP UP! Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough “friends” at school. Be their parent. Being the “cool mom” means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME. I’ll say it again. My home was filled with guns growing up. For God’s sake, my daddy was an 82nd Airborne Ranger who lost half his face serving our country. But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency, and most of all, I was taught that until I moved out, my life and bedroom wasn’t mine…it was theirs. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.

There. Say that I’m a horrible person. I didn’t bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn’t about gun control. This was me, loving the crap out of people and wanting the best for them. This was about my school babies and knowing that God created each one for greatness, and just wanting them to reach their futures. It’s about 20 years ago this year I started my teaching career. Violence was not this bad 20 years ago. Lack of compassion wasn’t this bad 20 years ago. And God knows 20 years ago that I wasn’t afraid daily to call a parent because I KNEW that 9 out of 10 would cuss me out, tell me to go to Hell, call the news on me, call the school board on me, or post all over Facebook about me because I called to let them know what their child chose to do at school…because they are a NORMAL kid!!!!!

Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously? Guns aren’t the problem. The current culture is the problem.

*****S&E*****

Time Magazine – February 5, 2018 “America Alone”

I read through this article and in the end it was not a Doomsday forecast.  It did offer some views that were worrisome.  Views that I believe should cause us some concern…views that cast the USA as moving more toward isolating itself economically from the world economy.

And less than a week prior to this posting, the media reported the USA is considering tariffs on steel and aluminum.

It is a world economy. And the world probably will not care if the USA opts to isolate itself.  Some of the largest world economies are forging trade pacts with each other to build their economies.  Their governments have the foresight to see the benefit.

It is this blogger opinion that Washington needs to get out of its own way, abandon its severe case of tunnel vision, and enthusiastically charge into building trade pacts and agreements with countries across the globe.

This blogger considers our country’s leadership a great example of leadership failure.

Time: The USA Alone

Apologies for taking the blog into the political realm…

*****S&E*****

HardRock on the Island

No posting on this blog for some days — just back from the Hard Rock (HR) Resort and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  HR has done a great job linking the resort to its name sake, Rock music.

Stuff that belonged to current and past rock stars and the music genre is all over  to include motorcycles, hot rods, guitars, show costumes and paraphernalia , live shows, painted instruments on buildings, it is a long list, right down to tiny embroidered guitars on the pillow cases.

Michael Jackson Show: I have seen a few resort shows in the past and they are OK.  The MJ show … well, you would have thought you were watching the dancing real deal.

The resort was huge but because of building layout and design, you would never know the HR’s 1700+ rooms were full.

  • 13 pools with swim-up bars
  • 9 restaurants
  • A Nicklaus designed golf course
  • Caribbean beaches
  • Spacious suites fully equipped with Hydro Spa Tub, private balconies, free Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service

It’s an all-inclusive, so it’s all covered if one stays out of the casino and spa.

Lastly the spa, located under the main building, is beyond description – size, design, atmosphere, you would have to see it… nothing short of cavernous!

And of course HR’s namesake music is everywhere.

*****S&E*****