Gary D's Take

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.

Your Internet Will Go Down!

Your Internet Will Go Down!

Feb 16, 2020

No matter who your primary provider is. No matter what product you have. At some point your internet is going to quit on you. For small businesses this used to be a risk worth taking when balanced against the cost of a secondary provider. That has changed….. VOIP telephone systems in the cloud, cloud based Point of Sale, credit cards over the internet and just the nature of our cloud based business models has made the internet a critical part of even the smallest small business. Two things that I ran across in my travels convinced me that even small businesses have a mission-critical need for internet access.

In little Samson Alabama population about 2000 (on a good day), the owner of the Piggly Wiggly has two internet services in his store. Why you ask? Because if he loses internet he can’t take credit cards which is 60% of his receipts. In the era of chip cards, there is no run the paper slip anymore. He can’t take EBT cards (which is 35 to 40 % of his receipts) and he really can’t take checks since he verifies them with an online service. He could take one but if its not good, he’s on his own. It’s actually really hard to take cash since his Point of Sale system lives in the cloud. He realized that if his internet was out he was done! Since at that time his was about the only grocery store in the area, his daily receipts were from 9000 to 15,000 dollars per day (albeit on razor thin grocery store margins). A day or two of that and he would be out of business, especially if it happened on his biggest day Saturday. This business owner is one of the smartest guys I have ever met. The extra monthly cost paled in comparison to what he would lose.

I have visited scores of small boutiques and retail stores over the years. Starting about 4 years ago, I noticed they all had some kind of an online, cloud based cash register. Once again, no internet……no cash register and no credit cards. Even Mom and Pop restaurants have gone cloud based. One particular customer of mine in Tuscaloosa only had to have his internet go out at high noon with 10 people waiting to pay for their lunch to get him on the band wagon. Of the ten,eight people said they would come back and pay when his internet was back on. I think he is still waiting on 4 or 5 of them to return. His average check is about 10 dollars so 40 or 50 dollars walked out never to return. That would just about pay for a redundant provider.

If you haven’t already, take a minute to estimate what no internet for a day or even half a day would COST you. When you do you will quickly see that the idea of a backup internet isn’t as crazy as it used to be. Then call me…I have some ideas for you.

I am political but I keep my mouth shut about it.

I have been blogging for 10 years. I just realized it. I have been very meticulous about keeping all my posts. The first one was in 2007.

Here it is  http://garyedunlap.com/2007/09/10/just-another-manic-monday/ It starts out with:

“Well here goes! I read recently that some IT companies would not take you seriously unless you had a web presence ie a blog.
Now I have never worried too much about being taken seriously however, as a well know gadget guru, technophile, geeky nerdy on the bleeding edge of technology kind of guy…I really don’t know how I have gone this long without my very own blog.I have been led to believe that a blog should be posted to every day like a diary and should talk about what you are doing or have done that day like a diary. Guess what, I AIN’T gonna do that! Let’s talk instead about the things that matter most to me and hope nobody reads this!”

Since I was hoping that nobody would read what I wrote, you could say that I accomplished my goal with my blogging 🙂

In going back and reading some of the things I have written in the past 10 years , I realized that although I am very passionate about all things political I don’t write about politics much. Its such a well covered subject and I am not highly schooled in it so I don’t wax political very often.

Today is one of those exceptional days where I feel like doing just that.

My friend since childhood whom I am friends with on Facebook, just posted that he was unfriending some folks because of their incessant posting about what an awful person Donald Trump is. I know you have seen and heard this stuff till it runs out your ears just like I have. Just like the stuff that we heard about Barrack Obama for 8 years. I didn’t like President Obama very much. I don’t like Donald Trump a great deal either. I did not vote for President Obama but I did vote for Donald Trump. I haven’t loved a president since Reagan. I kinda liked Bill Clinton but all his stuff with the ladies made it impossible to love him like I did Reagan. I voted for Trump because I thought he would shake up the system and he would be tough enough to take the heat it would cause. So far so good.

The shaking up was the most important thing for me about Trump. Our system of government is broken and needs an overhaul. The 5th estate , the press . has lost it’s way as well. They don’t report the news now they try to shape it. I don’t like that at all. We have created a new class of royalty in our country , politicians. We have career politicians who think their job is to get re-elected. The idea of the founding fathers that we would be governed by people who took a break from their real lives and served for a time then went back to their REAL lives has gone completely out the window. That’s our biggest problem along with the size and complexity of the federal government that now requires an army of career bureaucrats to run it. All these things that once merely annoyed me now are really concerning me. I worry about the world that my daughter is going to live in. What will happen to her when I am not here to protect her?

That’s why I voted for Trump. The next person who comes along and looks like they will take government by the ears and shake it as hard as they can, gets my vote.

 

Happy New Year ? Your Choice!

Happy New Year ? Your Choice!

Dec 23, 2015

People choose to be happy or choose not to be. The operative word being choose. We all know people that face much greater strife and challenges in their lives than we do and they are still “happy people” and we can all think of people we know who choose to be unhappy even in the face of good fortune. My best example of the latter is a conversation I had years ago with someone who sounded depressed and when I asked about it they replied. “ I am having a bad day…I can’t decide which kind of beans to cook for dinner.” This was a real conversation…I am not creative enough to make something like that up. Clearly this person had decided to define themselves on a very narrow scale.

The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next.Amen.
We can’t mange all the things in our life…..they are far too many , too complex. We CAN mange our expectations. Unrealistic expectations cause more unhappiness than anything else in this world. I am not saying not to dream and not to aim high for the lofty goals in life. Just don’t decide that when the lofty goals are not achieved, that you are a failure. Failure is more defined by NOT TRYING than NOT ACHIEVING.

It is my sincere wish for you that you choose to have a happy and prosperous New Year!

I Saw Your Blog……..

I Saw Your Blog……..

Dec 23, 2015

Those of us who regularly post to blogs understand what a frustrating experience blogging can often be. You try to produce relevant and engaging content. You strive to not be “salesy” or “self serving”. When you share your prose with say…coworkers , the response is often “ OK?” or “And this does what…?” The blank expression on the faces when you try to answer “ Why do you do this?”  fuels the little voice in the back of your head that keeps saying “NOBODY CARES!” . Then a miracle happens! Somebody you meet says. “ I read your blog. It was very interesting.”

Years ago when I started this , I said “This is really about me having an outlet for my creative side and I don’t really care if anybody else reads I or not.” If you go back to my first post, in 2007 , I actually said that. (or words to that effect) Five years later, I am still really doing this for me…….but it is nice when someone else reads what I have to say.

When I try to answer the why do you do this question, I reference my mother’s journalistic career. Mom worked at a small weekly newspaper before she married Dad and she is the one who infected me with the journalism bug. I wrote for the school papers in high school and college and at one point thought I wanted to be a writer. As my brother once said , “ You played football in school too , but you didn’t turn pro at that either.”

If someone you know writes one of these things, take a look at it and let them know you did. Oh and ….. if you happen to read this…drop me a note in the comments section.

Business Exchange Speaking Engagement

Business Exchange Speaking Engagement

Dec 23, 2015

It was my pleasure to speak at the Business Exchange Chapter of All About Referrals this past Thursday.

The main topic was “Four basic communications points to review to be sure you are ready for business in 2013″. During the brief question and answer session following , I fielded several very good questions from the members. Thanks to everyone for allowing me to speak. For more information on the Business Exchange , visit the website http://aar-bx.com/.