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Things that make me sad or cry

I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting older, softer, mushier, or what but there are so many things that make me sad now and I find myself crying. WTF–Boys Don’t Cry as the old Cure song goes right? AND to boot it’s the dumbest things that I cry about. I grew up in The Bronx in the mid seventies to early nineties, NYC was quite the place then–very GRITTY! We travelled the city with IMPUNITY, I was never afraid to go anywhere. I’m just going to list them:

  • I get teary eyed when I am watching a show where people have trained and they show those stupid vignettes that show me thier home lives. I was watching the Titan Games a couple nights ago, the two lady competitors, one was an OBGYN, who gets up everyday at 4:30AM to train/workout. She has 3 daughters and she wants to show them that girls are strong! The other girl she went to the Olympics, came in 4th and just trains, she looks at being a Titan her redemption. I start tearing up when I see the dumb vignette that they do for each athlete–UGH!
  • Bud Greenspan I HATE you. I have watched those Olympics short stories you produce. The one that sticks with me is when they profile the US Rowing Team in 2000 Olympics in Beijing. Watching the story about their coxswain Mary Whipple (who is 4′ tall?), she wanted to be a rower but was too short–these ladies were TALL and all very pleasing to the eye I might add. Mary spoke about choosing theam, how sad it is to watch those ladies get cut–they worked as hard as the ladies that made the team, but there were only a certain number that could go. When those girls are cut it is very sad, there’s crying, andit just makes me respect what they do. They push their bodies to the max, which they have been doing since they were started rowing, that is extremely moving to me.
  • When I see these movies about the struggle of single mom’s and what they had to do to keep their kid on the straight and narrow or how they had to fight to get by. It makes me think of my mother, she was a great woman, gave me everything, she made sure EVERYDAY that I didn’t want for anything. There was nothing that I ever wanted or needed that she wouldn’t go to end of the world to make sure I had it. Don’t get me wrong, she also taught me the value of a dollar I had a paper route from age 8-18!What really makes me cry is that these struggles were real, it is as if they are in my life. Personally when I see these shows/movies it always make me lament that I didn’t thank my mother or say ‘I love you,’ to her. We just weren’t that ‘touchy feely.’
  • It makes me sad when I think about all the things I never said to my mother, we were never the ‘touchy feely’ family, I learned about expressing my emotions when I was with Jenn. I think about all the thigs unsaid to her. Now I find it easier to say these things to her, since she’s not in front of me. Honestly she would have thought I wanted something from her–usually money as terrible as I feel about saying that.
  • I am also saddened when I think about my marriage and divorce. Pat was a nice lady when I met her but something changed after we were married. She like me never expressed herself, so I never knew what was going on. I in turn never expressed myself, I internalized everything and never spoke about the things bothering me. Indiandian people aren’t supposed to get divorced, we stay together and are miserable. I am glad/sad we never had kids because I’d be stuck in a loveless marriage up to now. When my mother passed away, it was a sort of relief. I didn’t worry about what she would think if we divorced. As much as I miss her and her death saddens me, it gave me a whole new life. I met the greates woman in the world–Kathy. I totally hit the jackpot when I met her. We have the greates kid in the world and I SPOIL HIM ROTTEN as much as I can–THAT MAKES ME HAPPY amongst my sad feelings when I don’t think about him.
  • When I see how minorities are diminished now a days it saddens me. What going on now in the Twin Cities, what happened in Atlanta to the kid running, to what happened to Trayvon Martin, and I can go on and on and on and on. Why can’t we break this cycle of police being violent to minorities. I just don’t understand it, it’s very sad.
  • On the other side to when I see what black people and other minorities went through pre civil rights amendment. It just sucks, segregated counters, bathrooms, water fountains? Sitting at the back of the bus; not being able to marry a person that wasn’t black. Conversely, it saddens me when I see young black youth acting like idiots, robbing someone, the shootings wherever they occure–just plain old acting like a fool. I’m not trying to point out minorities in general, but just people doing so many DUMB things, it is sad. My mother taught me better than that. I never once feared the police or anything I thought they might do to me, which in my few interaction with them was to help me. This saddens me greatly.

These are just some of the things that affect me, I’m not making a social commentary but I am saying that there are things that shouldn’t effect me this way but unfortunately living in the world we live in just makes me shake my head.

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I AM SO FED UP!

The global pandemic we are dealing with is a true tragedy, today we passed 100,000 people dead from the virus (a number which I think is MUCH LARGER than what they are saying). That’s another story for another time. I am a huge sports fan, I have always been. My favorite sport is cycling, but we know that’s not the sport it is in Europe; football, basketball, tennis, golf, baseball, even hockey I love to follow. I am not as big a baseball fan as I was when I was a kid, but then again I a big football fan, but not a crazed fan!

So what is the story with baseball? I don’t fault these guys for making as much money as they can–their shelf life is limited. There are only a handful of people in the world who can play Major League Baseball and god bless them let them make as much as they can. What is going on now is truly a travesty, baseball is as American as apple pie, I know that’s cliche but it’s true. The fact that they can’t come to an agreement to just play baseball is such a travesty. The owners are being greedy, I am totally on the players side, but they are crying poverty.

WHY? MLB is a license to print money. It is a protected monopoly end of story. Why do we pay $12 for a hot dog and $15 for a beer–total bullshit. I understand by not having fans in the ballpark there is a source of revenue that is diminished, but quite frankly the money is in the TV contract! Everyone’s eyes will b GLUED to the TV, the owners and TV networks will be able to charge more for the product than ever. I just don’t get it.

The NFL, NHL, pro golfers have all seemed to figure it out, but WTF is wrong with these baseball people. It’s frustrating to hear day after day how many people have filed for unemployemnt but the guy who was supposed to make $35 million will only make $10M this year? Should I feel bad about this or just shake my head. Baseball owner should get their heads out of their ass.

LET’S GET IT TOGETHER BASEBALL!

OK, we’re back from camping!

I have to tell you I was such an idiot. I went camping kicking and screaming because I didn’t want to go–end result? I LOVED IT! I feel so bad for all the drama I put Kathy thru at the beginning. Look camping in an Airstream is not like camping honestly–it’s total GLAMPING.

We had an OK day when we went down there on Friday, we got in ate but the weather cleared up and we were ok. Saturday the weather was beautiful, we went down to the beach and walked around. Im not a big sitting on the beach person, I just don’t see the point. The water temps were cold hence no one went in, even though Sean wated too, but too cold. I hung out on the boardwalk. We got ice cream and then went back to the camp. I BBQ’d chicken and hot dogs and corn, it was great we all ate and then ‘cozied’ up for the night. Watched some movies, in the heated cabin, and oh man it was like being at home!

Sunday was not so promising, we woke up and it was chilly. It was 57 degrees and felt like it was colder. Luckily there’s HEAT in the Airstream! We went back to the beach to walk around just to get outside and get some exercise. It was cold, we all wore coats. Sean insisted on having ice creram because it would warm him up–got him ice cream and he proceeded to fall right to sleep! LOL.

I told Kathy I was going to hunker down when we got back, watch TV and cook inside the camper. She wanted to sit by the fire and read a book. Problem is she couldn’t get the fire lit, hence I went out and got it going. I thought we were going to cook inside, but again, I ended up BBQing–SHE TRICKED ME! We had a good meal and went to sleep in a fully heated camper.

I woke up this morning and was ready to go! I wanted to get back to work. I had several cliebts calling me all weekend to see some rentals, but obviously wasn’t in the area. Tomorrow starts work again. I believ e we are off to Maryland next week for camping. This time we won’t fotgrt thr bikes and Seans ‘chariot.’

All in all it turned out to be agreat weekend, even though because of my drama I almost ruined it,

So we’re going camping, ugh…

Today we are off to Virginia Beach, to go camping. The first time I went to Virginia Beach, I went with my friends for our senior trip, a lot of people took the bus that wenrt down, we drove down in my trusty 1978 Toyota Corona, which I believe is still running strong. That car was great, I only had it for about a year, but it was so reliable, I didn’t know jack about maintenance. I don’t think I ever changed the oil, transmission fluid or anything else that would be considered ‘preventive maintenance.’ That car started up like a champ everyday, that’s why I am sure it is going strong somewhere even today.

So we drove down, met everyone else and had a great time. Afterwards we drove back home. Now I don’t like anyone driving my car, but I was so tired I let Dave drive. I remember waking up and we were right up a truck ass; Dave was explaining the aerodynamics of being that close–we’d get better gas mileage and go faster. My consternation was what if the truck stops suddenly–WE ARE FU..ED! I mean later on I would learn he was absolutely correct but I would rather have tested his theory at the time in HIS car–LOL.

I remember we got lost coming back. Imagine that. we got lost and we only had to follow one road all the the down and we managed to get lost in Washington, DC. Now that I live in the DMV, it’s easy to understand why, the roads are very confusing even though I live here, but as a 17 yrl old you can only imagine. I remember, asking a person who we thought was a woman but answered us back in one of the deepest voices I ever heard, LOL. Oh man we were so young and naiive, even though we grew up in NYC and thought we were all that.

Fast forward 40+ years latert, the last time we were down there, I’d say about 4 years ago, Kathy rented one of these bungalows right on the beach, it was a pimped out place, and the price was ridiculous. These were brand new homes–BTW they were on a Navy base hence the discount for the unit. I more prefer glamping than camping. I have no problem camping at the four seasons, but when you tell me to sleep outside, I’m a little iffy on that. Luckily we have an Airstream, so I am halfway there as far as camping/glamping.

I go because I want Kathy to go to RAGBRAI next year, well actually THIS year but since COVID 19 it’s been cancelled. If I don’t go cmping now then there’s definitely no shot of her going then. Ahhh, the things we do for love. I hate camping even at RAGBRAI, but the bike rifing is awesome so there’s a little give and take in everything. It’s Memorial Day weekend, time to relax a little. I really shouldn’t complain, but I am admittedly a prima dona!

How Airports Will Change After COVID-19

As avid travelers I thought this was definitely an interesting article about how going to the airport will be different. You thought the changes after 9-11 were tough, woo-hoo wait until you see what is probably going to happen.

Two airline employees walk through an airport with face masks.

by Jessica Puckett

You may need an appointment to get through TSA.

As certain countries begin to slowly reopen in the wake of the coronavirus, airports are looking at what it will take to make fliers feel comfortable in their facilities again. That is sure to be no small feat. “In total, over 70 different areas in the passenger journey are expected to either change or to be introduced from scratch to restore confidence in flying after COVID-19,” a report by airline strategy firm SimpliFlying predicts.

In addition to requiring travelers and employees wear face masks, airports are examining how to adapt their every aspect to a post-COVID-19 world. Here’s how experts say each part of the journey through airports may change once air travel begins to open up again.

Entering the airport

The first major change that travelers will notice in airports is that non-fliers will likely not be allowed inside. “We’re likely to see a restriction to passengers only,” says Regine Weston, the Americas airport planning leader for engineering firm Arup, which has worked on hubs like Beijing, London Heathrow, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson. “That’s to really ensure that the only people we’ll have to be dealing with are people that are going to be flying.” This rule—already in place at airports like Los Angeles International—will make exceptions for unaccompanied minors or others who need assistance, Weston notes.

Down the line, passengers could also pass through a disinfection tunnel and thermal scanners when entering the airport, SimpliFlying predicts. “Only those ‘fit to fly’ will be allowed to enter,” the firm’s report says. Thermal cameras, which are able to scan a crowd for a feverish temperature, are already in use at several facilities, including Heathrow, Puerto Rico’s San Juan airport, and Paine Field—a secondary airport in Seattle.

Once in the airport, travelers will see touchless options for checking in, a service that was previously available in a handful of terminals, like the Delta terminal in Atlanta, which operates an all-biometric check-in system. But the technology is sure to become more widespread. “You can go to a kiosk to check in using your face as [identification], and you can get your bag tag,” Weston says. “You can then go to a self-bag drop machine and drop your bag. For the check-in process, the technology already exists to do that without having to interact with any airline or airport personnel,” she says. After it’s dropped off by the passenger, luggage may also be put through a fogging tunnel to be disinfected, according to SimpliFlying.

Another long-term option is to make parking garages into check-in area and screening centers, according to airport design firm Gensler. “The garages that are directly connected to terminals present the ideal place to house processes such as check-in, security screening, and crowd control, providing new distance controls and passenger flow metering, while also freeing the existing terminal to house more passenger amenities in a less densified arrangement,” writes Ty Osbaugh, a principal aviation architect at Gensler.

The next problem to solve? Security lines. Anyone who has flown during summer or the holiday season knows that TSA lines can be one of the most crowded places in the airport. That will have to change in a post-COVID-19 world.

“One interesting alternative is to have passengers book essentially an appointment to go through security screening,” Weston says, noting Montreal airport has been using one such system for several years, in which passengers signup online for a specific time slot to pass through the security checkpoint. “I can see that and even more sophisticated versions becoming more widespread so that the actual area that’s dedicated for security screening is able to exist without crowding.”

Additional health screening

Thermal cameras are currently being utilized in multiple airports for temperature checks, as they’re “the most efficient way of doing it because there isn’t any interruption of passenger flow and there’s no negative impact on capacity,” Weston says. But although they’re effective, they’re not visible to the public. “So I don’t think it will work to restore passenger confidence,” Weston says. Instead, she thinks passengers are more likely be screened with handheld, no-contact infrared thermometers once large-scale air travel starts up in a major way.

In addition to temperature screening, other medical tests to scan for the coronavirus are possible. SimpliFlying’s report goes as far to predict a lung CT scan could be implemented prior to security screening. Elsewhere XpresSpa—the gate-side shop where fliers can get a manicure or shoulder massage—recently hired its first chief medical officer to start a new arm of the company: XpresTest, which aims to administer COVID-19 blood tests to airport employees.

There are no federal requirements yet from the TSA or Federal Aviation Administration mandating such health screenings for travelers or employees. But U.S. airlines are pushing for there to be uniform federal regulations. “We’ll need to work with the federal government in terms of screening customers to make sure, for example, that you don’t have someone getting on the airplane that has a fever,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a recent CNBC interview. “I think that that’s going to be very important.”

But a point of contention is who will be responsible for checking travelers’ for high temperatures and other COVID-19 symptoms. The TSA is still considering whether it will have its officers take temperatures as part of the security screening process. But some, like SimpliFlying, predict that a new federal health agency will be formed in order to coordinate such health screenings inside airports.

Major changes at gates

Once through security, passengers can expect to see more Plexiglas and other types of barriers in places like customer service counters. These additional barriers have been recommended for most passenger-facing employees by the U.S. Travel Association.

Travelers will also notice increased cleaning measures throughout concourses. Airport employees will be cleaning and disinfecting more often, but airports like Pittsburgh and Hong Kong have also deployed sanitizing robots to constantly rid floors of the virus. Such visible disinfecting measures are also part of creating confidence in travelers, according to Weston. “Things as simple as [having] a lot of hand sanitizing stations and no drinking fountains are visible things that the airport can do” to restore passenger trust, she says. In fact, Weston predicts that instead of operating 24 hours a day, airports will start closing overnight for additional deep cleans.

In busy terminal corridors, passengers can also expect to arrows that designate where foot traffic can flow, much like on a road Weston says, in order to maintain proper social distancing when on the move.

When it comes time to get on the plane, boarding processes will use touchless options like facial recognition, too. The technology has already been used widely in the U.S. for international routes, but Weston predicts it will shift to domestic flights as well. “The primary reason [facial recognition] wasn’t widely used before is because there were a lot of concerns about personal privacy and data storage,” she says. “I think at least in the short term, privacy concerns are going to be considered less important than health concerns.”

After touchdown

Upon arrival, international passengers will likely need to show some form of immunity passport to border control agents, SimpliFlying predicts. An immunity document is something the International Air Transport Association has advocated for as well. Weston says it’s more likely that passengers will need to present a proof of vaccine—once there is one for COVID-19—to enter other countries.

Arriving passengers will also undergo another temperature screening at their final destination and potentially even blood tests for COVID-19. Some airports like, Hong Kong and Vienna, are testing passengers for the coronavirus with a blood test before they are allowed to enter the country. Those types of tests, however, might be short lived.

“I don’t personally think we will see blood testing” in the long term, Weston says. “While passengers might be comfortable right now giving up their face [for scans], I don’t know if we’re yet ready to give up our blood to some unknown agency to store somewhere.”

But whether it’s a blood test or a temperature scan that’s required, airports must be ready to deal with passengers who do have a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms. “Most large airports have one isolation room,” Weston notes, but many more will be needed as travel opens up again. Weston is working with major hubs like Dubai Airport to determine how many isolation rooms are needed and how to strategically place them throughout the airport. The goal is to get a symptomatic person out of the main flow of passengers as quickly as possible and minimize their contact with other passengers, she says.

While all the changes that airports will undergo are not completely clear, one thing is for sure: the facilities are about to undergo a seismic shift.

“Although we’re still in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, we’re anticipating it will bring about the same kind of paradigm shift in air travel that we experienced after 9/11,” Osbaugh, the Gensler architect, says. “We may never look at flying or airports the same way again.”

Is it over?

So the economy is starting to re-open. Is it the right time to do this? I will be honest, I habe been careful but I didn’t truly quarantine except for about two weeks at the beginning, even then I would go to my office. My office was open, but there was no one there or really just minimal people there. My office is situated ina way that you wouldn’t even know I was in there. The other thing is that even is you knew I was there the door is closed and locked, we really don’t hang out with each other while in the office.

Let’s be real, we can’t live like this for the rest of time. There will be a vaccine sometime soon, and thing will return to some what the new normal? I don’t think we’ll be hugging on the street and giving high 5’s anytime soon, but the economy can’t be stalled forever. I can’t help but blame Trump for not taking this more seriously at the beginning. I heard about some important public health doctor in NYC at the beginning didn’t take this seriously. Why would he/she when the word from the top was that this was nothing to worry about.

I think we will indeed have to lrn to live like this, some sort of face protection, some type of being socially distant, etc. I can’t believe that they’re going to try and pass another stimulus bill. How are we going to pay for this ultimately? For whatever issues Clinton had in his personal life, he left us WITHOUT A DEFICIT, now how will this effect Sean, and Sean’s kids, and his kids kids. This will put us in the whole for a very long time, aside from the mess that the country’s finances were in before. It does sadden me.

It’s ashame that Trump governs by public opinion, he does whatever public opinion says to do, he doesn’t seem to do his thing except for anything to do with repealing anything Obama did, or anything to do with immigration he is quick to act on that! OK, i apologize for my political ranting. I am not a political person, but when I see what’s going on it’s just scary.

Gary Marshall Special

I’m watching this special on Gary Marshall, which just got me to think about when I was younger living in The Bronx watching TV every night. I have said many times before that I LOVE TV–it practically raised me–in all defference to my Mom, I loved watching TV,\. She always made sure I had one, we had this 12″ black and whit TV we kept on one of these stools in the kitchen. It was set up there relatively permanently. The stool and TV could be moved with ease in case we were bringing groceries into the kitchen or something like that.

I remember watching all these Gary Marshall TV shows, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy, later on he would go onto feature films, including Beaches and Pretty Woman. The special is a great look behind the scenes of how the man ticked. It’s amazing some of the stories you heard about certain scenes in shows. For instance Mork came about because Gary’s son got into Star Wars and was no longer that into Happy Days, Michael Eisner called Gary Marshall and asked him to build an entire show around Mork, which became Mork and Mindy. Robin Williams’ first big break, we all knew what a great actor he was, but this is were he started. Just think I started watching him there, then found his stand up comedy cassettes, then watched his movies, etc. But then it all ended when Robin Williams took his own life…very sad.

It’s amazing how TV brings back these memories, I can remember specific episodes, where I was, who I was with, what I was doing. Then I’m flooded with memoriws of the day or the week or the time. Life definitely was simpler then, go out and play, come home when my mother said to come home, eat, watch tv, go to sleep, and rinse and repeat, lol.

What’s even more amazing is that we are in the golden age of TV, I believe many people thought that was back in the 1960’s yes that was the Golden Age of TV part one, but now we are going thru a renaissance on TV. I love all the choices we have right now, there is constantly something to watch. I subscribe to Hule, Netflix, Disney), I had Sling TV but cancelled it–thought it was redundant with everything else. The crazy thing is even after spending all this money with all these platform the thing I watch the most is network TV, just amazing as segmented as TV has become network TV still makes the biggest impression on me.

What does any of this have to do with Real Estate–ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! LOL. These aresupposed to be my musing from the area, not just Real Estate!

Bernard Goetz

I saw this article and thought itwas interesting. Ironically over 30 years later we’re still dealing with the same situations seemingly. I can attest the NYC Subway system was a nightmare in the 70’s and 80’s. I got mugged one morning coming back from Manhattan, but never had a problem otherwise. My mom once got attacked by some kids who hit her in the head with a paddle ball paddle, and sundry other stories that we haven’t heard. When I saw what Bernie Goetz dd I was was like YEAH! It was about time someone started fighting back. I totally believe those kids were going to do something to him and HE WAS RIGHT to defend himself!

Where Is Bernhard Goetz Now? The ‘Trial By Media’ Subject Still Lives In NYC

By Gretchen SmailMay 11, 2020

Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

Netflix’s Trial by Media chronicles the case of Bernhard Goetz, who shot and wounded four young black men he claimed were about to rob him on the subway in 1984. He was ultimately cleared of attempted murder and served less than a year in jail for illegal firearms possession; today, Goetz is still living in New York City. But over 30 years later, Goetz’s case remains sadly resonant: it led to a nationwide debate about race, crime, and the limits of self-defense.

Goetz, who was labeled an “average loner” by his attorney, was once mugged in 1981 while transporting electrical equipment. This prompted him to buy the firearm that he later used in the subway shooting. When Darrell Cabey, James Ramseur, Troy Canty, and Barry Allen boarded the same train Goetz was on in 1984, Goetz claimed they boxed him in and demanded $5. (In court, Canty said they did ask for $5, but they did not threaten Goetz.) Goetz immediately rose from his seat and shot all four teens, paralyzing Cabey from the waist down. Goetz initially ran from the scene of the crime, but turned himself in eight days later.

During the criminal trial, Goetz famously admitted that he wanted to kill the teens. “I wanted to maim those guys. I wanted to make them suffer in every way I could…. If I had more bullets, I would have shot them all again and again. My problem was I ran out of bullets,” he said. Despite this damning confession, the predominantly white jury found that Goetz had acted in self defense and was not guilty of attempted murder. Goetz served 250 days in prison. (Cabey’s family successfully sued Goetz in 1996 and won $43 million, but per Newsweek, it’s unclear how much of that he was actually paid.)

Rick Maiman/Sygma/Getty Images

Goetz’s trial was a lightning rod for numerous issues plaguing the city, both social and political. According to Time magazine, 1980s New York was characterized by crime paranoia. Between 1965 and 1984, the city’s violent crime rate had nearly tripled due to the ongoing economic crisis and the cocaine epidemic. When Goetz’s trial began, many people saw him as a hero fed up with the ever-increasing crime wave. “Ride with Bernie — he Goetz ’em!” bumper stickers were sold all around NYC. According to a 1985 New York Times poll, 52% of residents were “generally supportive of Mr. Goetz’s actions.” Even Joan Rivers reportedly sent Goetz a telegram of “love and kisses” after the incident.

Since then, Goetz has capitalized on his contentious celebrity status. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2001, and has appeared on VH1’s Where Are They Now, Aftermath with William Shatner, and The Howard Stern Radio Show. According to Newsweek, he’s also become a vegetarian activist and spends his time nursing injured squirrels in New York. In 2008, he was spotted at an animal rights parade called Veggie Pride. In 2013, Goetz was arrested for attempting to sell $30 worth of marijuana to an officer, but was released shortly afterward.

Lately, however, Goetz seems to be keeping a low profile. In response to a 2019 Insider Edition story, he simply emailed back that he is “not doing any interviews at this time.”

My friend Tony

So my best friend while I was growing up was this guy named Anthony, I believe we crossed paths in the 3rd or 4th grade, He was a big guy, noth in stature and in girth. He was heavy set, and extremely obnoxious. I really hated him back then, he would walk up to me and make a sneezing sound (Ashoooook!) That’s how I was made fun of in the 70’s and 80’s, there weren’t that many Ashok’s in The Bronx (even though there are a billion Indians in the world), my name was unusual then. Now it seems like everyone knows someone named Ashok.

In the 9th grade we were in the same class, I was banished from the accelerated class due to my lack of motivation, I was put one step down with ‘better than general population.’ Anthony was in my class. Along with my friend Richard and Mark, we were thick as thieves. Richard hung out with Tony, and I never liked him, but seeing that he hung out with Richard, we did become friends. He wasn’t such a menace at this point, he was actually kind of cool. Tony introduced a whole new world to me, he was fearless, we would take the bus from The Bronx to go up to the White Plains Galleria to go to the mall, we would take the PATH train into Jersey City to go shopping for clothes because there was no sales tax on clothing in NJ(it wasn’t until later we realized we spent more money to get to NJ than the amount we saved in sales tax), we would jump on the subway and go into the city, but Tony knew how to LOCK all the doors in the car we were in, so e’d be the only ones in the front car, while the people on the platform were looking at us trying to get in, then the had to run quickly to the 2nd car.

He opened up a whole new world to me. He gave me advice, there was a girl Dayana, she was the ‘love of my life, at the time, but I was a shy awkward kid and I didn’t know what to say to her, but he was very supportive and always tried to push me to saying something to her. It never did work, while we were in Junior High School, I eventually did end up dating Dayana when I went to college–that’s how obsessed I was, UGH! But he was always supportive and wanted me to be with her, but I was a chicken then.

He actually freed me, my mother was very controlling (as we all thought our Mom was at 15 years old), I had to be in by a certain time. I had to let her know everything I was doing, there was no hanging out; I became braver after hanging out with him, I would do things I normally wouldn’t, I definitely think it was from his influence. It wasn’t a bad thing, he just made me braver to some extent. I would give my Mom lip, and I was more of an ‘angsty’ teen, LOL!

When I went away to SUNY Stony Brook, he came out to me. Everyone always said that Tony was gay but I didn’t care, he was my friend. When he came out to me his Mom threw him out of the house. He stayed for a couple of days in my dorm room and then went home I think. It was by this time we had already started to drift apart, realy senior year in HS, I had my clicl of friends and he had his crew and we were polar opposites. We neevr realy hung out after that, but spoke sporadically.

Since I graduated college we have largely just spoken occasionally. We speak on Facebook and he keeps saying when I’m back in NYC we have to get together but that never seems to come together. I consider him one of my oldest and dearest friends We have known each other for over 40 years–since 3rd grade!

He lives in The Bronx, in the heart of COVID-19–NYC. I reached out to a lot of people when this whole thing started, people I hadn’t spoken to in years or even only speak to sporadically just to check in and see how they are doing, Tony was one of them, evidently he tested positive for the Corona Virus and has been in a bad way. He feels better one day and then not so well the next day. He sent me a note last night and told me he loves me, and knows that we grew apart, but he just thinks about all the good times we had. This made me very sad, this is one of my oldest and dearest friends, even though or friendship is such a long way from where it was all those years ago the sadness I would feel from his loss would be IMMENSE. I don’t know if I’m lucky of unlucky but I have only lost 2 people in my life whom I loved so much. My mom and my friend Meg.

I was never close to many people in my family as most of them live in Trinidad. As I said my Mom had a HUGE family but since they were all down there and we were the only ones up here many of my aunts and uncles have passed away; without any acknowledgement from me because the long and short of it is I didn’t know them. I am closer to my friends here than my family, as sad as that is, it is what it is. There are only a few people in this world that I truly care about, and he is one of them. Please keep him in your thoughts and I wish him a speedy recovery.

How active have you been?

I don’t know about you but I for one am a slave to my Garmin, I can sadly say YES this is true. I have been lazier than normal, Kathy is still a beast and encourages me as much as possible but I have become a sloth it seems like. I thought it was just me but if you believe what’s here, it’s NOT just me. What obvious is that indoor activity is going down as the days move on. GARMIN has all the metrics, and I found these graphs fascinating. It was such a nice day today I am kicking myself for not getting out for a ride.

The Effect of the Global Pandemic on Active Lifestyles

April 9, 2020

In the middle of March, Friday the 13th to be exact, Americans awoke to the news that a national state of emergency had been declared. By Sunday the CDC issued an advisory against gatherings of 50 or more people. According to activity tracking data from the millions of registered Garmin users, this fateful weekend in mid-March was a turning point, marking a major shift in human activity.

With state and local governments issuing shelter-in-place orders, it’s no surprise that Garmin data points to a massive decline in the overall number of steps taken during the second two weeks of March. This is an obvious cause-and-effect scenario and consistent with our global trend data in China, Italy and other countries where the pandemic struck first.

While the decrease in global movement scratches the surface of what’s happening, the advanced metrics in millions of Garmin wearable devices give us a deeper understanding of exactly how people are dealing with the impact of the pandemic on their active lifestyles. We’re observing a remarkable shift in the types of activities people are doing, reflecting an unprecedented about-face when it comes to typical springtime exercise and activity.

To paint a clear picture of the initial trends, Garmin engineers and data analysts looked at the percent change in activity level in the United States for specific sports and exercises and compared the first half of March with the second half of March to determine increases and decreases. For further clarity, the results are baselined against the same time period in 2019.

In the world of winter sports, resort skiing and snowboarding is down an eye-popping 96%, as the typical spikes in weekend activity suddenly disappeared. This falls in line with real-world observations, as popular destinations in Colorado and Utah seemingly closed overnight, forcing many to abandon their spring break plans.

While skiers have stayed off the mountain, cyclists have evidently back-pedaled into their pain caves to continue routines. Virtual cycling activity is up an incredible 64% in the second half of the month, an aggressive shift that appears even more atypical when comparing it to the same time period last year. March 2019 saw a 20% decline in the activity as cyclists naturally began to take their rides outside to enjoy the warmer weather.

Things get even more interesting when we move outside of niche sports and consider the everyday fitness-seekers who’ve been forced to rethink daily workout routines. Indoor/treadmill running and lap swimming are down 44% and 88%, respectively. On the surface, that sounds like we’ve grinded to a halt. However, the full story points to the exact opposite. Remember, big box gyms across the country closed, which is a massive number of treadmills still sitting idle at the moment. If we look at virtual running (performed on a treadmill by linking your smartwatch to an outside app such as Zwift) we see a steep increase in the second half of March. And despite gym closures, overall indoor cardio is holding strong over 2019 levels and showing an 18% week-over-week increase from March 16 to March 30. This all seems to suggest one thing:

More people are exercising. And they’re finding new ways to do it from home, with and without their own equipment.

This theory is supported by media reports of stores selling out of in-home workout equipment, as people look to bring the gym to them. Furthermore, walking as a logged activity profile (this is a built-in app in Garmin devices) is up 36% when comparing the front half of March to the back half of March. This surge is double the 18% increase observed over the same springtime period last year. The numbers validate what most are observing in their own neighbors – lots of people are walking. Complying with social distancing recommendations to be sure, but walking, nonetheless.

All of this reflects another important real-world observation we’re seeing on social media. In-home routines are being reinvented and shared virtually. Fitness retailers and personal trainers are offering remote workout solutions. Consumers are challenging each other to continue moving. Even Garmin started a #10KADAY step challenge on Instagram to help followers stay active while shelter-in-place orders are in effect.

Offering further reassurance on the dual physical and emotional health front is the positive trendline for yoga. Garmin wearable device data shows an 11% increase, when comparing the front and back halves of the month, in the ancient practice of harmonizing the mind and body through stretches and poses. Again, another significant increase over 2019 data. Whether the mats are being rolled out on the living room floor or on front lawns, it’s clear that yoga is becoming an activity of choice in a world that’s also being turned on its head, so to speak.

Golf is perhaps another activity that has been relegated to front-lawn practice swings. While many courses have remained open, the early data shows a 20% decline in the activity for the second half of the month. When comparing the same two time periods last year, golfing activity increased by 53%, as is common during the springtime.

So, what can we deduce from these early trends? In many respects, it comes down to a matter of interpretation. While the data is in the form of hard numbers, it’s important to note that any takeaways presented here are a subjective analysis based on our observances of real-world events and our insights as experts in the category. In summary, it’s too soon to draw final conclusions, at least with absolute certainty.

Garmin engineers and analysts will continue to monitor the data and provide updates for the benefit of customers and the public at-large. Future numbers for the month of April will reflect the impact of the full 30-day stay-at-home period and offer an even more detailed look at the effect of the global pandemic on our active lifestyles. Be sure to check back.

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