Monday, December 24, 2012

Apollo 8 44 years later

Those of us who were around in 1968 remember watching as Jim Lovell, Frank Borman and Bill Anders read from Genesis while orbiting the moon.  Most people have seen the iconic pictures they took of the Earth.. "the blue marble".   Those words spoken by the first 3 humans to leave the influence of this Earth had so much more meaning while being able to look at the complete Earth.  We truly are one human race on this little marble.  Only 7 months  and on the 3rd flights later we had improved the processes and  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were standing on the moon. 

For sure those years were turbulent times.  I don't remember much of the riots and race issues.  We were raised to treat our fellow man as equals so didn't understand much about the issues of the times.   What is clear is that we went to the moon by focusing on a goal and achieving that goal.   This is something that is lacking today.   Our Legislative and Executive branches are mired in squabbles both within their own party and with the other party.   They aren't able to do what is expected of EVERY successful business..... Have a balanced budget.   Instead they continue to argue, spend and take every opportunity to change the focus to something else.   Folks,  Get it together.. FOCUS... Forget everything else.  Pass a real budget and you'll find that a lot of other problems just go away.   Take a bold step as we did in the space program.   Republicans and Democrats, join with each other as you did in a joint session after the senseless attack on Gabriele Giffords.    Get rid of the center aisle,  In the new session sit with each other and work together for the American party.  Enlist the support and draft some of your regular "every day guy and gal"  constituents to work with you to really solve problems, not just talk about them.  Don't talk to your colleagues... Talk WITH your colleagues.  We have to work together and return this country to being innovative and leadership, not just on the political and peace front but in industry and to be a place where we can be proud of the people we elect to governmental office because of what they do. 

The  Mercury 7, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle, MIR and ISS astronauts and cosmonauts took and are taking bold steps in space exploration.  We have so much because of that focus.   Those of us who are Earthbound should do the same. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts on recent events

Three events in recent times are sticking in my head.  Not because of the magnitude or impact but rather for the ability to totally refocus our attention.   These events are:
  • the "fiscal cliff" or as it should be called "the Executive and Legislative branchs' inability to govern" or perform  to the same standards expected by every normal business
  • the Bengahazi consulate attack 
  • several active shooter incidents over the last weeks
  • the Sandy Hook Elementary School active shooter incident.  
Each of these events is a tragedy but keep in mind that there are shootings every day.  It doesn't take a massacre to have an impact on an individual.   If you or your family is in the wrong spot and the wrong time it will impact you the same as if  there are multiple victims.

Two things should have our focus in these weeks:
First, don't let our Congress and President get sidetracked from their job of passing a budget.  For them it must be the number one priority. They can debate gun control (pro and con) AFTER they do their job of stopping wasteful spending and pass a workable budget  not more continuing resolutions.  They should do nothing else until this is completed, delivered to the White House and signed.  Stop blaming party A or party B.  Forget the parties (both holiday and political)  and get it done.  Without that this country goes into a financial crisis. 

Second:  Say a prayer for those that are directly impacted by these events  then get angry and make sure that you are prepared so that it doesn't happen to you. (and that doesn't necessarily mean you have to start carrying a weapon)  Become aware of your surroundings.  Do you know what you would do if an active shooter walks into your office, the mall or the grocery store when you are there.  Are you always aware of what and who is around you in a 360 degree bubble?   Do you know your company's plan for an active shooter?   Do they even have one?  Don't say  "it won't happen here".   The only statement that is valid is "It hasn't happened here yet".   Go to work tomorrow and ask your Safety Coordinator or HR  if there is a plan.  Insist that one is in place and exercised just like fire drills.  (and for sure the same plan does NOT work for both).   Imagine what would happen if  half of the workforce showed up at the office door asking this question.  It will get noticed.

The article at  is a good read for more information.

Stay safe and keep aware.