Time for Old Energy Firms to Become New Energy Firms

DECEMBER 7, 2017 – GE Power (NYSE: GE) today announced that it plans to reduce its global headcount by approximately 12,000 positions…The plans announced today are driven by challenges in the power market worldwide. Traditional power markets including gas and coal have softened. Volumes are down significantly in products and services driven by overcapacity, lower utilization, fewer outages, an increase in steam plant retirements, and overall growth in renewables. WTF!!!

GE is the father of energy, starting with Edison’s light bulb, growing to one of our largest corporations with a huge research and development department managed by executives who make millions to steer the ship.  I’m thinking these big-time managers, with their lack of innovation, planning and a stubborn bond to yesterday’s energy sources like coal, fell asleep because they let down those laid off employees.  A corporate executive’s main job is to be on top of future trends and make sure the company is positioned to be the leader in new technology to both profit the company and insure a stable workforce.

GE and other traditional large energy companies have been treading water when it comes to alternative energy.  How can a startup like Tesla have the latest and greatest battery technology while a giant like GE burns coal and natural gas, continuing to squeeze out the last of the fossil fuel money.  Tesla’s battery innovations got a Puerto Rico Hospital powered up after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  Where were the other major energy companies and why is there a Space X and not a Space GE?

It’s time for all our energy companies to embrace the future and use their vast resources to give us all the latest and greatest clean alternative energy.  With a more visionary energy policy and the right leadership, all the major players have the tools to rocket us into a whole new energy era.  Imagine a world with no vulnerable, inefficient power lines and each home or business having its own clean energy generator leaving the coal supply for Santa to fill up the stockings of the alternative energy obstructionists.cartoon-santa putting coal in trump stocking

Christmas Stocking Stuffer

If you or yours are runners, walkers, bikers, any kind of exerciser or wannabe exerciser and are looking for a great Christmas present, stocking stuffer or just a fun read, my book Ipeaked, A Reluctant Runner’s World is for you.  This is about my 30+ years and over 30,000 miles of Ipeaked book coverrunning.  It’s not your typical runner’s book since my passion is more about quality of life than running.  I am truly a reluctant runner who embraces and enjoys the benefits of the world of running rather than the act.  I am very competitive, but have a training regimen which keeps me fit without making exercise torture.

Meet my guardian angels, race and train with me, share my life with family and friends, and learn a few things about running (run walk method, paying forward, training schedule, how NOT to run a marathon and more), cross training (biking and swimming), first triathlon, beginning road biking, and runner gift suggestions.  I have mastered the balance of being competitive while adhering to a “don’t hurt yourself” training mantra.  It seems to have worked since I’m still at college weight, my butt hasn’t fallen off yet, and most of my family and friends are still talking to me.

Some reader reviews:

This book is well written with much humor. You can actually relate to the actions of the author and although I am not a runner after reading this book it makes me want to be one. I REALLY ENJOYED IT

This is a must read for all wanna-be road warriors and experienced runners!! I found this to be both entertaining and informative!

This was first published in Fall, 2012 but the read is timeless with a blend of motivation, advice, how-to’s, inspiration, and mostly fun with my cartoons illustrating the stories.  It’s a quick read and the paperback (kindle downloads available) can be purchased at Amazon (click here).  $10 for a unique, cool stocking-stuffer ain’t bad and with 999,500 more books sold I can hit 1,000,000!Santa leaving book in stocking

Background Checks for Guns

I have never found a need to own or use a high powered automatic weapon, but I’ve never been a hunter confronting herds of aggressive deer in armored vehicles.  The debate over the need for these weapons is ongoing and although this battle seems to have no short-term resolution, I really think there is a consensus supporting background checks to prevent dangerous people from owning guns. Cartoon of turkey being shot with automatic weapon

There are existing gun laws that require background checks, which if were a little stronger, could prevent the bad guys from purchasing weapons.  I’ve always been for background checks but I, like most of you, am an uninformed advocate who really doesn’t know WTF our gun laws say about background checks, so I did a little research and finally am a kind-of informed citizen (dangerous).

The 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act is our governments attempt to address the issue of starting to control the wild west method of gun ownership by creating a database and mandating background checks to help deny criminals and unstable people from owning or possessing guns.  The impetus for this law was the attempted assassination of President Reagan and the wounding of White House Press Secretary Jim Brady by a mentally unstable shooter.

From Wikipedia:

The Brady Bill requires that background checks be conducted on individuals, by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) maintained by the FBI, before a firearm may be purchased from a federally licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer.  Section 922(g) of the Brady Bill prohibits certain persons from shipping or transporting any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce, or receiving any firearm which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or possessing any firearm in or affecting commerce.

These prohibitions apply to any person who:

  1. Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  2. Is a fugitive from justice;
  3. Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
  4. Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution;
  5. Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
  6. Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  7. Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced U.S. citizenship;
  8. Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner, or;
  9. Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

The Brady Act was a great start at trying to control irresponsible gun ownership but was/is opposed by many gun rights groups and failed to address key issues that weakened the law like: the exclusion of private and collector gun sales and the failure to set up a reliable data base to track the bad guys.  The data base housed at the FBI relies on agencies and states to supply info on the those who shouldn’t possess guns but with no consequences for not reporting or updating the data base, a lot of guns are in the hands of some really sketchy people.

After several recent tragic shootings by people who should have been added to the FBI bad guy or irresponsible list, the Senate has rightfully reacted with proposed legislation that would financially reward states who help to keep the data base updated, and penalize federal agencies that fail to report to the system.  I’m sure we could do more, but anything is a positive.  Hopefully, this will keep a few more guns out of the hands of killers and let responsible people keep their second amendment rights.

Like any other complex issue zealots on both sides of the gun control debate have kind of hijacked the conversation which tends to lessen the chance for compromise.  I just hope that despite big money lobbyists, pro and anti-gun, that our lawmakers realize that we have a problem and need to start using the “grandparent” standard for legislation, which is to ignore special interests and look into their grand-kid’s eyes and think about the laws needed to keep them safe.