Jazz You Too

Unexpected podcast, amazing band, forever in my heart and mind!

Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band performing live in the studio. Recorded February 26, 2016.

Drummer Brian Blade Pianist Jon Cowherd  Myron Walden on alto saxophone and bass clarinet  Melvin Butler on soprano and tenor saxophones Chris Thomas, on bass,

Songs: Stoner Hill Landmarks Shenandoah Farewell Bluebird

Host: John Gilbreath Audio Engineer: Kevin Suggs Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Scott Holpainen & Luke Knecht Editor: Jim Beckmann

fellowship band

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Happy Independence, Tejas!

Micki Allen

Today  marks the 180th anniversary of Texas independence. On this date in 1836, 59 delegates crowded into the lil’ Brazos-river town of Washington and unanimously passed a declaration (penned by George Campbell Childress) that proclaimed Texas a republic independent from Mexico.

Check out the The Unanimous Declaration of Independence made by the
Delegates of the People of Texas in General Convention at the Town of Washington
on the 2nd day of March 1836, aka the Texas Declaration of Independence, right here.


Info-graphic courtesy of the History Channel.

Check out my Meet the Mom (she’s from Texas) to learn more about this Texaphile!

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Let’s answer key questions about All Aboard Florida

By Bob Webster

All Aboard Florida is a complex project that has raised questions of concern to Treasure Coast residents.

Those questions include:

  • 1. Will 32 daily AAF passenger trains create massive traffic congestion that interrupts Treasure Coast residents’ daily activities?

A look at the figures is surprising. Daily rail crossing closures for both AAF and Florida East Coast Railway trains will be 12 percent less than what it was for freight trains alone in 2006, when freight traffic was heavier.

If emergency vehicles were not adversely affected by FEC trains in 2006, they will not be in 2017 when AAF is operational.

  • 2. Will AAF make railroad crossings more dangerous?

Florida’s Department of Transportation has required AAF “to comply with the Federal Railroad Administration’s guidelines for rail crossing safety as specified for higher speed passenger rail services.”

FRA requirements improve safety of every crossing while preventing the most common driver activity leading to crossing collisions. Crossing gates supported by audiovisual devices warn of approaching trains at every crossing. These improvements also satisfy FRA requirements for quiet zone crossing designations.

Quiet zone designations silence train horns at road crossings. Track improvements and more frequent maintenance lower train noise and vibration. These improvements boost quality of life and increase property values for nearby residents.

Improvements to safety, quality of life and property values are well worth increased maintenance costs.

  • 3. Will the widened Panama Canal mean more FEC trains?

While this question has no relevance to AAF, it often is raised. The immediate effect of the widened canal will more likely mean a significant reduction in southbound FEC traffic. Currently, Pacific freight destined for southeast Florida unloads at Pacific ports and is transported by freight rail to Jacksonville. In turn, the FEC transports it to southeast Florida. However, the widened Panama Canal will allow future freight to be shipped directly to ports in southeast Florida, eliminating considerable demand for FEC’s southbound freight shipments.

Improved Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic seaboard port facilities will offer many alternate port facilities for Pacific shipping to destinations north of Florida. Isn’t it more likely, then, that the widened canal will decrease FEC traffic?

  • 4. Is AAF just a ruse to improve the FEC freight rail corridor? Why not move the tracks west?

Isn’t the suggestion to “move the tracks west” in direct contradiction to the claim that AAF is nothing more than a ruse to improve FEC freight capacity? Shouldn’t a passenger train service be located along a route where it can serve the highest population density?

Would AAF spend $3 billion on an intercity express passenger service just to improve the FEC tracks for freight? Wouldn’t it be far less costly for the FEC to simply make improvements to its freight railway?

AAF’s land lease for its Cocoa-to-Orlando corridor expressly prohibits freight on that corridor.

AAF’s four new multi-million-dollar transit stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport are useless for FEC’s freight service.

  • 5. What about trains carrying hazardous materials?

The FEC has been hauling hazardous materials in accordance with FRA regulations for decades. Chlorine, gasoline, and other hazardous materials are all routinely hauled by the FEC in full compliance with FRA regulations.

If hazardous materials aren’t moved by train, they will be moved by truck or boat. Positive train control and other rail improvements from AAF dramatically improve rail safety and make accidents even less likely, another benefit for our communities.

Improved safety and quality of life along the AAF route are benefits that answer questions concerning AAF.

Bob Webster, a full-time resident of Indian River County, is retired from a 30-plus-year career as an operations research analyst/systems analyst for the Department of Defense, where he supported research and development for weapon systems and munitions.

Robert Parry | Democrats March Toward Cliff

Barack Obama once called Hillary Clinton “likable enough,” but a new poll raises doubts about that, as the Democratic frontrunner’s net-negative has nearly doubled to 24 points, reports Robert Parry.


s Democratic-insider “super-delegates” give Hillary Clinton a seemingly insurmountable lead for the presidential nomination, the former Secretary of State’s negative ratings continue to soar to stunning levels, hitting a net 24-point unfavorable in the new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll.

It is hard to imagine someone who is viewed unfavorably by a clear majority of voters (56 percent) and with a net-negative of 24 points winning the White House, except that most voters also don’t like the top Republican choices either. Donald Trump sports a 41-point net-negative and Sen. Ted Cruz is at minus-23 points. (By contrast, of the two trailing candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders gets a net-positive 9 points and Gov. John Kasich a net-positive 12 points.)

But a major difference between Trump and Clinton in the latest poll is that Trump’s numbers haven’t moved much while Clinton’s net-negative has almost doubled in the last month. In other words, the more Americans get to see of Clinton the more they don’t want her.

While Clinton’s dismal approval ratings haven’t seemed to have shaken the Democratic establishment, which continues to line up behind her long-anticipated coronation, some outside analysts see the party leaders blindly marching toward a cliff.

Despite Sanders’s string of victories, Clinton still leads him in elected delegates, but her daunting lead comes from her dominance of “super-delegates,” party insiders who are not chosen by primaries or caucuses but still get to vote at the convention. According to The Associated Press tally, Clinton has 1,289 elected delegates to Sanders’s 1,045, but she has the backing of 469 “super-delegates” to Sanders’s 31. To win requires 2,383 delegates.

So, if Clinton’s eventual nomination is inevitable, the Democrats will be putting up a candidate who is broadly disliked by the American people. That means a Clinton candidacy will require massive spending on negative ads to make the Republican candidate so frightening in the eyes of most Americans that they will vote for Clinton out of fear, not hope.

There’s also the irony that although most attention has focused on the Republican need for a brokered convention – to block a Trump nomination – an argument could be made that the Democrats would benefit from a brokered convention themselves.

If neither Clinton nor Sanders could clinch the nomination on the first ballot, that could open the process to allow the party to select an alternative who has not been in the race, someone such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, an economic populist who is beloved by Sanders’s backers and a woman who might be acceptable to Clinton supporters wanting the first female President.

Still, such a possibility does not appear to be in the cards. The odds remain heavily weighted in favor of Clinton securing the nomination and the Democrats then trying to make the best of her soaring unfavorable numbers.

In a 2008 debate, addressing a question about Clinton’s high negatives, then-Sen. Barack Obama condescendingly opined that “you’re likable enough, Hillary.” But it turns out Obama may have been overstating the case. With her current unfavorable level at 56 percent – and only 32 percent holding a favorable view – many voters seem to be saying, she’s not likable enough.

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

SnapChat of Facebook – Supply Chain Social Media

The end of the supply chain (retail) is probably the only place that makes any sense for any kind of social media activity. At least that’s the common belief. What would a supplier, manufacturer, 3PL, or any other part of the supply chain hope to gain from a Facebook page, a Twitter stream, or even a Google+ account?
The answer is that it depends on what your goals are and who you are trying to reach. There is also a difference in social media platforms, how they work and what you can reasonably expect to accomplish with each. Rather than list them and their possible uses, it’s more important that a company develop a set of goals and then a strategy to accomplish those goals.

Disregarding retailers, who have fairly obvious uses for social media for engaging with customers and developing positive impressions of the company, other supply chain participants have the same kinds of goals but with different target audiences. And because business-to-business audiences are significantly smaller than are consumer audiences, the messaging and platforms used to connect with these audiences will be different.

The goals

The first thing to remember about social media is that it is not a sales channel. Participants in social media are expecting to socialize rather than to make purchases. So posting links to promotional information and signups is probably not going to help in this regard. What is needed is to develop an audience that knows your company and also participates with people in similar companies that may eventually be prospects for your services.

Maryland transit agency to partially close Baltimore subway for rail updates

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) this summer will shut down a portion of Baltimore Metro Subway service for replacement of major rail components.

From July 23 to August 12, the agency will close the system from the Milford Mill Station in Lochearn, Md., to the Mondawmin Station in Baltimore to replace three interlockings.

The MTA also will perform additional rail replacement, track maintenance, station improvements and cleaning.

“This necessary and critical rail work will further enhance service safety and reliability, and allow trains to move faster through this corridor of the Metro track,” said MTA Deputy Administrator Suhair Al Khatib.

New York Is Yuge!!!


ell, I guess you know the big apple is a very big place. Truman Capote called it “the only real city.” If you have ever been to New York, you know it’s loud and dirty, but you can feel a buzz in the air like no other place on earth. As if New York didn’t get enough attention, today it will hold a must-win presidential primary.

There is no suspense on the Republican side. Their loud and rude native son, Donald Trump, will win in a landslide. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is having a very competitive race. Wait, that’s a pretty boring description. It has been a war, with both sides firing grenades.

One month ago Hillary Clinton was up by over 40 points. According to the latest poll she is only winning by 6 points now. I don’t know about you, but she looked irritated in the Brooklyn debate. Those damn transcripts came up again. Bernie doesn’t bring up the “damn” but he sure wants to see what Clinton said to Goldman Sachs.

Transcripts v. Tax Returns

Of course, Hillary Clinton does not want anyone to see what she said behind closed doors to any Wall Street bank, especially not Goldman Sachs. The Clinton campaign thinks she is being held to a higher standard. Hillary keeps saying that when all the other candidates release their secretive speeches to banks, she will as well.

The problem with that is Bernie Sanders, her only opponent, has already released his. He released them again in the Brooklyn debate when he threw his arms up and said that he made no speeches to Wall Street. The Clinton campaign then fired back and asked Bernie where his taxes returns were.

Sanders responded: “I don’t want to get anybody very excited, they are very boring tax returns. No big money from speeches, no major investments. Unfortunately — unfortunately, I remain one of the poorer members of the United States Senate. And that’s what that will show.” He released his 2014 tax returns on Friday, still no transcripts from the Clinton camp.

Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

How to Be Extraordinary: 9 Qualities Only the Best Employees Possess

To paraphrase a Supreme Court Justice, true excellence can be hard to define… but you know it when you see it.

Every boss says she wants her employees to be reliable and dependable. Every boss says she wants her employees to be proactive and diligent. Every boss says she wants her employees to be good leaders and good followers.

That’s what every boss says they want… but what they really want are employees that go above and beyond, possessing qualities that never appear on performance appraisals but make a massive impact on a team and business.

Here’s what the extraordinary employee knows that the average employee never even considers:

1. Job descriptions should be ignored.

The smaller the company, the more important it is that employee can think on her feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.

When a key customer’s project is in jeopardy, the extraordinary employee knows to jump in without being asked — even if it’s not her job.

2. You can be genuine (and even offbeat.)

The best employee is often a little different: quirky, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. He seems slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor.

People who aren’t afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries, challenge the status quo, and often come up with the best ideas.

3. There’s a time to fit in.

An unusual personality is a lot of fun… until it isn’t. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best employee stops expressing individuality and fits seamlessly into the team.

The exceptional employee knows when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; when to challenge and when to back off.

It’s a tough balance to strike, but the extraordinary employee walks that fine line with seeming ease.

4. Praise should always be public.

Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person.

The exceptional employee has high emotional intelligence, so she recognizes the contributions of others — especially in group settings, where the impact of her words is even greater.

5. Criticism should always be private.

We all want employees to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Good employees often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom.

The best employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. When to speak up (hint: when others won’t).

Some employees are hesitant to speak up in meetings. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately.

An employee once asked me a question about potential layoffs. After the meeting I said to him, “Why did you ask about that? You already know what’s going on.” He said, “I do, but a lot of other people don’t, and they’re afraid to ask. I thought it would help if they heard the answer from you.”

Truly great employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. When to volunteer (hint: as often as possible.)

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.

Great… no, really: That’s great. Doing more creates the opportunity to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships — to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.

The great employee knows that success is based on action, and the more he volunteers, the more he gets to act. He knows that successful people step forward to create opportunities, but extraordinary people sprint forward.

8. You don’t need to be satisfied.

Some people are rarely satisfied (I mean that in a good way) and are constantly tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow.

Good employees follow processes. Extraordinary employees find ways to make those processes better, not only because they know you want them to… but because they just can’t help it.

9. When to give up (hint: almost never.)

Success is often the result of perseverance. When others give up, leave, stop trying, or compromise principles and values, the last person left is often the person who wins.

Other people may be smarter, better connected, or more talented. But they can’t win if they aren’t around at the end.

Sometimes it makes sense to give up on ideas, projects, and even businesses, but it never makes sense to give up on yourself… and extraordinary employees know that.

And you should too.

You can always be the last to give up on yourself.


By Jeff Haden

Contributing editor, Inc.

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