God’s message, The Panama Canal, VW, oh and some tennis

Life moves pretty fast someone said.  I’ve had a busy Summer and it’s amazing what can happen in a few months.  I hope you’ll enjoy my brief summaries and if you make it to the end there is a surprise.

Michael JrHave you ever heard of Michael Jr.?  The first time I did was when Cardone Industries hosted the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in 2014.  They graciously allowed me to attend the 2-day event (thank you Jim Worth) and I was one of a handful of non-Cardone employees who had the privilege.  Michael Jr. was the “comedic relief” in a who’s who’s of business leaders with faith (Jim Collins, Ed Catmull (co-founder Pixar) and Sally Krawcheck).  It was awesome.  At GLS 2015 Michael Jr. delivered a message of absolute truth, “there is more in you than you know.” Later, he deadpans a joke about a guy asking repeatedly about his beginnings.  Michael Jr. was asked, “but where are you from, originally?”  reluctantly he says, “well I was conceived in Michigan…  before that I was with my Dad.   And then there was a swim competition – and I won?!?!?!?”

I sincerely hope you watch this brief YouTube video https://youtu.be/TU0f8a3Cizo. This is a must watch (2:27 min) about Michael Jr’s infant.  Be still baby, I love you, I’m right here.  Is it God’s message?  Watch it.  You can also path to Michael Jr Comedy on FaceBook and see this video if you scroll down just a little.

What goes into engineering buildings and bridges is fascinating to me.  On December 31, 1999, after nearly a century of rule, the United States officially ceded ownership of the Panama Canal to the nation of Panama. That nation did not exist when, in the mid-19th century, Europeans first began to explore the possibilities of creating a link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the narrow but mountainous isthmus; Panama was then a remote and overlooked part of Colombia.

In 1848, a wave of Gold fortune hunters descended on Panama from Europe and the eastern United States, seeking quick passage on California-bound ships in the Pacific, and the Panama Railroad, built to serve that traffic, was soon the highest-priced stock listed on the New York Exchange. To build a 51-mile-long ship canal to replace that railroad seemed an easy matter to some investors. But, as David McCullough notes in The Path Between the Seas, the construction project came to involve the efforts of thousands of workers from many nations over four decades; eventually those workers, laboring in oppressive heat in a vast malarial swamp, removed enough soil and rock to build a pyramid a mile high. In the early years, they toiled under the direction of French entrepreneur Ferdinand de Lesseps, who went bankrupt (along with thousands of French citizens who bought stock) while pursuing his dream of extending France’s empire in the Americas. The United States then entered the picture, with President Theodore Roosevelt orchestrating the purchase of the canal–but not before helping foment a revolution that removed Panama from Colombian rule and placed it squarely in the American camp (we later paid Columbia $10 Billion)  The story of the Panama Canal opened in 1914 and is complex, full of heroes, villains, and victims.  We discovered and conPanama_Canal_Gatun_Locksquered Malaria and Yellow Fever which are transmitted by only one type of mosquito.  The solution?  Get rid of the mosquitos which must have fresh standing water to survive.  When de Lesseps started digging, he lost 60% of his workforce to Yellow Fever.

I’ll leave you with these facts and a 2-minute time-lapse video of a ship traversing the Panama Canal.  It takes 52 million gallons of fresh water (they reuse much of that now) to pass thru. Each lock is the equivalent of the Empire State building on it’s side (250′ shorter).  They poured more cement than any project ever except the Hoover Dam.  “The cost of moving a ship through the Panama Canal has tripled over the past five years to around $450,000 per passage for a vessel carrying 4,500 containers, and this figure is likely to go up upon completion of the expansion process.”   Watch a ship go thru here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vi19z4LEi0.

VW NoticeVW became the largest car manufacturer in the world this Summer.  1% of vehicles in the US are Deisel and 23% of VW sales in the US are/were Diesel.  I bought a Passat 2014 Diesel.  It has crazy torque (you can squeal the tires any time you want) and I get over 700 miles per 18.9-gallon tank. Diesel cost about $2.70/gallon currently. I just got this letter.

Oh, and tennis.  Yeah been playing a lot theses days.  The Philly 4.5 men’s team I captain won Sectionals in August.  I want to shout out to the amazing group of guys who needed to win all five courts on Sunday while Delaware had to lose at least two courts.  That’s exactly what happened as we took it to David Pottle’s York HS team on Sunday winning 5-0, all in straight sets.  Woot woot!! Congrats to Troy Donato, Eric Fritzges, Tony Deimler/Steve Hlava, Nate Geigle/Brian Vincent, Wanzell Flemming/Satheesh Swaminathan who won on Sunday as well as Chris Kyper, Sean Rojo, Andrew Peterson, and Dave Bozentka.  Wowza!

Sorry I had to trick you about the surprise.  I’m glad you made it this far – check back soon for future posts!!

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