My views on life, love , career and…well just about everything.

From The New York Post: No one is buying breakfast while in lockdown and it’s bad for fast food: report

From The New York Post: No one is buying breakfast while in lockdown and it’s bad for fast food: report

May 8, 2020

https://nypost.com/2020/05/07/no-one-is-buying-breakfast-while-in-lockdown-and-its-bad-for-fast-food-report/

By Michael Hollan, Fox News

May 7, 2020 | 5:19pm

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… but no one is buying it.

The restaurant and fast-food industries have faced many struggles during the coronavirus pandemic and breakfast may be the toughest, according to new reports. Those reports say people aren’t buying breakfast during lockdown or periods of social distancing as much as they normally do.

Multiple companies reported that breakfast sales had seen steep declines during the first quarter of 2020, WRCBTV reports. During this time period, many locations across the country were forced to shut down dining rooms and primarily focus on take-out, drive-thru or delivery orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski and Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International (owner of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons) both reported that breakfast sales declined during the first quarter on recent earnings calls. Cil reportedly said that lunch and dinner orders have “shown more strength.”

Jay Johns, president of IHOP, chalked up the decrease to the fact that he considers breakfast “an easy meal to replace,” WRCBTV reports. According to the news outlet, Johns said that he believes that if customers are going to order a meal one time a day, it’s most likely to be dinner.

The decline in breakfast sales is reportedly a significant issue for these chains. For example, McDonald’s sales during breakfast made up about 40 percent of the company’s profits.

Many fast-food chains have recently made investments in the first meal of the day. Wendy’s recently introduced a full breakfast menu, which reportedly made up 8 percent of the company’s total sales, Business Insider reports. Meanwhile, other chains, like Taco Bell, have stopped serving breakfast at some locations. McDonald’s still serves breakfast but has had to cut the all-day breakfast option in some areas.

From The New York Post: Graphic video of ‘murder hornet’ killing mouse

From The New York Post: Graphic video of ‘murder hornet’ killing mouse

May 6, 2020

Graphic video of ‘murder hornet’

By Ben Cost

Get your zap-rackets ready.

Just in case you thought giant Asian hornets that can kill people weren’t terrifying enough, a graphic video shows one of the flying terrors stinging a helpless mouse to death. The skin-crawling clip was first posted in 2018, but has since resurfaced amid the murder hornet scourge expected to sweep the US.

The nightmarish minute-and-a-half video, which currently boasts almost 500,000 views on YouTube, shows the orange-and-black brawler locked in a deadly embrace with a mouse on the road in an unknown country. The behemoth hornet, which is the world’s largest at over 2 inches long, eventually emerges the victor and flies away, leaving the poor rodent twitching on the pavement from its multiple stings.

Giant hornets, which reside in the forests of East Asia, have killed up to 50 people a year in Japan using a potent quarter-inch-long stinger that can dissolve human flesh.

Needless to say, the mouse murder video sent shivers down the internet’s collective spine.

“The streets ain’t safe out here,” said one stunned YouTube commenter of the invader.

“Who’s here after hearing about murder hornets entering the US?” asked one internet insectophobe, in reference to the hornet plague currently winging its way toward the East Coast.

Murder hornets are actually quite tasty — if they don’t eat you first
Indeed, after surfacing in Washington in December, the insect interlopers are projected to arrive in the next two to three years in New York, where beekeepers say they’ll inevitably wreak havoc on local hives.

Unlike their counterparts in Japan, who’ve learned to “cook” Asian giant hornets to death like a giant beehive hibachi, the US’ European honeybees haven’t evolved any defense mechanisms. As a result, a small squadron of hornets can clear out an entire nest in a matter of hours, as seen in this shocking video from Japan.

It’s not just bees that need to worry. The Asian hornet’s sting can damage human tissue and feels “like a hot nail being driven into my leg,” one Tokyo entomologist told Smithsonian Magazine.

Even worse, “the venom is like a magnet to other hornets,” according to retired New York Police Department beekeeper Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis.

“The worst thing anyone can do with these things is kill them,” he recently told The Post, adding that “that scent is going to be airborne, and the rest of the hive will come.”

Continue to praise the good and call out the bad.

Continue to praise the good and call out the bad.

Mar 15, 2020

First let me make it clear that I do not agree with the opinion that the Covid-19 Pandemic is all a made up thing and not really a deal. Of course it is just like H1N1, SARS, MERs Ebola, etc Do I think that some folks are hyping this a little too much for political and ideological purposes…perhaps.Time will be the ultimate arbiter of that. The best example of that is the January travel ban by the president. At the time , he was derided and ridiculed for being racist and reactionary,,today it seems like that is the major reason we are not as hard hit as places like Italy and Iran who didn’t do that.I am not young and not particularly healthy…depending on who you ask…..I have no beef with the government or most companies on how they are responding and certainly not anybody in health care god bless them all….I am however an observer of human nature…. just like in every act of god we have visited on us…there will be people who show extreme acts of kindness and heroism and unfortunately some who will be horrendously selfish and even prey upon their fellow man….I will continue to call out both when I see them. I hope that everyone will do the same as I truly believe that doing so, especially on social media, is the best way to keep the exploiters in check and to encourage the best in our fellow man. Bad things most often happen in the dark and sunshine is the best disinfectant.

AT&T Investing $14 billion in New Technology, As Long As It’s Not Copper

AT&T Investing $14 billion in New Technology, As Long As It’s Not Copper

Dec 23, 2015

From iphonehacks.com- November 2012-According to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, AT&T is going to invest $14B in its networks over the next three years. The investments are going to focus on wireless ($8B) and wireline ($6B), but in this case it isn’t copper wire that being invested in, but IP technologies over fiber. Is the POTS line entered a death spiral? The opening paragraph of the article by Stacey Higginbotham sets the tone for what is coming for AT&T and the network:
AT&T is done with its copper telephone network and copper DSL business, according to its CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson, who spoke Wednesday at an analyst conference in New York City. The company believes that an all-IP network is the path to more profitable future. Given the millions of subscribers that are dependent on the copper telephone lines and copper DSL products, AT&T has offered a $14 billion fringe benefit for those customers and the regulators who will likely balk at the idea of AT&T stopping its investment in copper.
Via: GigaOm

Read the whole article at http://www.iphonehacks.com/2012/11/att-investing-14-billion-in-new-technology-as-long-as-its-not-copper.html.

So where does that leave the millions of customers who depend on the existing copper infrastructure , from single analog lines to traditional T-1s? Let’s just say , they are in a funny place. And not funny like HaHa.

Great Article from Reuters-Apple: The slaying of a tech hero

Great Article from Reuters-Apple: The slaying of a tech hero

Dec 23, 2015

from http://blogs.reuters.com/edgy-optimist/2013/01/25/apple-the-slaying-of-a-tech-hero/

By Zachary Karabell

January 25, 2013

Apple’s quarterly results this week drew a flood of reactions – almost all negative. Given how well the company did under almost any absolute measure, this is odd, though, for Wall Street, not necessarily surprising.

But the arc of Apple’s rise and temporary fall tells a more troubling story about our current inability to maintain positive momentum about any aspect of our culture. We slay our heroes with casual abandon. Then we wring our hands about the absence of positive catalysts in our world today.

Apple’s stock, already in relative free fall from an all-time high of more than $700 a share, plunged nearly 12 percent on the news. The company has now lost 35 percent of its value in four months – which represents an astonishing $235 billion. This decline alone is larger than all but three companies in the S&P 500, and larger than the gross domestic product of more than 140 countries.

That equity collapse was echoed by deeply pessimistic analysis of the company in the financial and tech media. Jim Cramer of CNBC railed against the post-Steve Jobs management under chief executive officer Tim Cook for failing to communicate a compelling vision. Others were less kind, dismissing the company as having no pipeline, no vision and little growth. “I think this is a broken company,” said noted investor Jeffrey Gundlach.

Apple matters on multiple levels: it is still (barely) the world’s largest company by market cap; it has been cited as a beacon of American innovation, led by a rare visionary, Steve Jobs, who resurrected the company he’d founded in the decade before his death; its products have been more than just hardware devices – consumers view them as a talisman, defining identities and allowing people to manifest their personal and professional lives as they chose. In the past few years, its stock price has been a proxy for that enthusiasm.

So what happened? What’s most stunning about Apple’s stunning and sudden fall is that it is unfolding in the context of still stunning actual results. Not only has the company not ceased growing, it is expanding at an astonishing clip. Its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $54.5 billion compared to $46.33 billion a year ago – which is a rise of 18 percent. Eighteen percent in a world economy that is barely growing 3 percent. It sold 47 million iPhones in the quarter compared to 37 million a year ago, and 23 million iPads compared to 15 million a year ago.

Yes, Apple earnings were flat, and stock market mavens point ominously to declining margins and shrinking earnings as telltale signs of trouble. But that isn’t a sign of shrinking market share – which has been nearly fatal for former leaders such as Blackberry and Nokia. No, Apple increased its global share of smartphone sales in a market that is hardly robust – as Samsung, Apple’s main competitor revealed as well. And issues of tight margins and spending more money to produce and market the same products are hardly Apple-specific and often given a pass by investors for companies such as Amazon or LinkedIn.

Still, Apple is not just another story of the bizarre way that Wall Street can value a company. It is that, but it’s more as well. It seems like only yesterday that Apple was being hailed as the great company of our age, with its dying founder lionized in a best-selling biography as a genius not just of our time but of any time. It seems like only yesterday because it basically was only yesterday.

And before its recent image travails, Apple’s sharp ascent was equally stunning – written off as dead by the late 1990s, it emerged as the tech innovator par excellence by the mid-2000s, invested with every virtue. Now, it is regarded as a has-been, hocking commoditized phones that any Chinese manufacturer can produce and tablets that every company in the world seems to be making, led by a CEO whose expertise is rationalizing the supply-chain. Hardly the stuff of dreams.

It’s fair to say that Apple was never as transformative a social and technological force as myth would have it. And the slaying of heroes is hardly unique to our era. But the speed of lionizing and then annihilating is enough to take your breath away. It’s the cultural equivalent of creative destruction. But unlike the economic version, it’s hard to see where the creative element creeps in.

It is true that Apple functions in a ruthlessly competitive industry that is both fickle and short-term. Phones and tablets are ever-more essential but command about the same consumer loyalty as fashion: Cool one day, tired the next – even if you are a juggernaut like Apple.

Perhaps the market and the media are simply accelerating an inevitable process. You only get to be on top for a while, before the buzz and the business move elsewhere. In that sense, Apple is just an oversized corporate ingénue, with its brief moment fading and someone else soon to take its place, before the cycle begins again.

But the cultural message embedded in tearing Apple down is more pernicious than doing the same to a fading starlet. Beneath the furor, Apple continues to do its business exceedingly well and continues to give people what they need and want. For now, it is largely media and Wall Street that are writing Apple’s obituary – not customers.

The message may prove to be correct, or it may not, but the complete lack of perspective about how hard it is to create something of worth compared to how easy it is to tear something down does not send a constructive signal or engender the better angels of our nature.

Apple was always likely to decline from its heights. But not because it failed, simply because others succeeded. In the story of Apple, and how we tell it, we have a metaphor for the story of the United States in recent years: a tendency to see the end, and then hasten it. Apple’s success was an example of what the United States can do brilliantly. The recent reaction to it shows that we can also excel at self-immolation.

Better to nurture the former instincts. The other will lead nowhere, and fast.

PHOTO: A customer is helped by an Apple employee while looking over the iPad mini after the device went on sale at Apple’s retail store in Palo Alto, California November 2, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Motivational speaker, Alabama native Zig Ziglar dies at age 86

Motivational speaker, Alabama native Zig Ziglar dies at age 86

Nov 29, 2012

Associated Press DALLAS, Texas — Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, who wrote more than 30 books on living a balanced life, has died in Texas. He was 86.

Ziglar, who had been suffering from pneumonia, died today at a hospital in the Dallas suburb of Plano, said his personal assistant, Jay Hellwig.

With an aim at helping people achieve success in their careers and personal lives, in addition to a focus on Christianity, Ziglar was a prolific speaker who appeared at events alongside world leaders including several U.S. presidents and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"Mr. Ziglar was the same guy behind the closed doors as he was preparing for his presentations to thousands of people that he was when we were sitting at the kitchen table and he was reading the newspaper," Hellwig said.

Ziglar started his fulltime career in motivational speaking when he was in his 40s. His first book, "See You at the Top," was published in 1975, when he was 49.

Ziglar was born Nov. 6, 1926, in Coffee County, Alabama, the 10th of 12 children, The Washington Times reported. His father died when Zig was 5 years old; at age 6, the first-grade student began selling peanuts on the streets of Yazoo City, Miss.

"He got saved at the age of 42, which means that he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior," Hellwig said. "Ever since that day is what he said was the turning point of his life. The last 41 years of his life he lived fully with that as his mission."

"He also had the uncanny ability to make everyone he ran into feel like they were his friend," Hellwig said.

Ziglar was a World War II veteran who went on to work in sales for a series of companies, where his interest in motivational speaking grew, according to his Plano-based company’s website. Hellwig said Ziglar moved to Dallas in the late 1960s.

Ziglar’s company, which features more than a dozen speakers advocating the "Ziglar Way," offers motivation and performance training.

His book, "Confessions of a Grieving Christian," was written after the 1995 death of his oldest daughter, Suzan, at the age of 46.

After a 2007 fall down a flight of stairs left him with a brain injury, Ziglar, along with another daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, wrote "Embrace the Struggle," a book that described how his life changed after the injury.

In addition to his daughter, Ziglar is survived by his wife Jean, with whom he celebrated 66 years of marriage on Monday; his son, Tom Ziglar; and daughter Cindy Oates.