Roy’s Ramble, May 12, 2019

  • Julia birthday—My daughter Julia is turning 18 next Friday.  Due to her busy schedule, we decided to celebrate this past Saturday night at Tsukasa in Vernon Hills.  It is one of our favorite birthday places because it is fun to have everyone in one place and getting a bit of a show while they cook the meals at the table.  I have been to other Japanese steakhouses but this one seems cleaner and has better food than most. I am always happy to have time with my kids and feel fortunate to be able to celebrate their happy occasions together.  We also had my parents, Sharon and my Uncle Dudley from Israel and his wife Sarah.  Special opportunity to have everyone together.
  • Howard Moore—Working in the Sports Philanthropy Network I have the pleasure of meeting and working with many passionate people who really want to make a difference in their communities.  Howard Moore and his energy are right near the top of the list.  His track record as a basketball coach is impressive and his recruiting abilities are some of the best.  But what I love the most is the “Legends taking back the Streets” program that he has put together in Chicago.  His ability to garner support from such a wide-array of legendary basketball players showcases his recruiting abilities and his passion for reducing gun violence is driven by his tragedy suffered when his uncle was killed in a drive-by shooting.  Howard is expanding his programs to Madison now and hosted a terrific event at Blackhawk Country Club.  Among the supporters at the event were former Badger stars Roy Boone and Alando Tucker.  Great to meet all of these players giving back to the community.
  • Mother’s Day—I feel very fortunate that my mom is still alive.  So many of my friends have lost their parents in recent years.  My mom has always been there for me and especially over the last 10 years she has been an incredible support.  Though we squabble at times, the love is never in question and we each do so many things to help the other thru their respective struggles.  She has always taken on a large burden of helping others thru their struggles and especially in raising Sharon.  I wish her a healthy year and wish that there was more that I could do to help improve her quality of life.
  • O’Hare parking—It has been a few years since I have used the remote parking at O’Hare.  Wow.  What a mess.  ORD has been way behind the times of getting a Car Rental Center like most other major airports have had for a decade or more.  Now, some of the parking lot areas are closed.  The shuttle bus system means you really need to arrive over 2 hours before a domestic flight.
  • Miami airport—While I thought ORD was bad, the Miami airport internal transit system was really not much better.  The long walk just to get to the train is a huge burden for elderly people and those with kids or a lot of bags.  I do want to thank the nice lady at Advantage Rent-A-Car who gave me a bottle of cold water!! That was very helpful.
  • Airline meetings—a friend from law school works for an aviation company and had me come down to Miami to consult on some difficulties they are having. Quite an experience seeing jet engines ripped apart and observing the painstaking process that they go thru to rebuild the engines.  The FAA regulations are oppressive but the overriding safety concerns justify the burden that they place on the industry.  Very interesting seeing the number of tools and parts that are needed to perform these services.
  • Bi-polar—had a chance to have dinner with a friend from National Young Leadership Cacbinet who suffers from bi-polar disorder.  It has been a few years since I have seen him and especially see that he is more balanced than he has been in many years.  The challenge with i-polar is how difficult it can be to regulate.  I hope he continues to maintain his status and continue to build up his business.
  • Steve—Many people are struggling in their businesses so it is a pleasure to see someone who is doing well and still makes so much time to do things in the community and help others.  My friend Steve from National Young Leadership Cabinet treated me to an afternoon of golf at Turnberry.  It was nice to catch up and spend some time together on a beautiful afternoon, one which was marred only by the errant golf shots we each sprayed into the water and bushes.  I feel fortunate to have so many good friends like Steve.
  • Aleph Institute—While I was at Oxford, the Aleph Institute was a great support for me.  They focus on serving those Jewish inmates who are incarcerated as well as Jewish members of the military.  I had not had the opportunity to get together with Rabbi Katz in person to thank him for his help and support so while I was in Miami for meetings I wanted to sit down with him and express my appreciation.  So much more work needs to be done to help those being released from jails and prisons and restore their confidence and their earning capacities.  I am going to work with Rabbi Katz to look at their program and see what I can do to help them put together a job placement type of re-entry program.
  • Irwin Goldman—One of my clients is Anthem which has developed a fantastic system for agriculture applications.  This light allows you to customize light cards so that each crop gets its the specific light that it needs instead of a standard light bulb or sunlight.  The benefit of the Anthem system is that allows a greater yield and produces a stronger, healthier plant.  Meeting with the Chair of the Horticulture Department at the University of Wisconsin, Irwin Goldman, it became apparent that there is a great need for this system.  It can benefit so many different crops, climates and growing environments.  It will be interesting to watch this process develop because it will ultimately change how agriculture is conducted and it will expedite the opportunities for indoor farming.
  • United Airlines—I have to say that I am generally not a fan of United Airlines.  Service was not terrific and the check-in process seemed much worse than American Airlines.  Once on the plane, the flight was okay and the service was pretty good.
  • Dudley/Sarah—It was great to see my Uncle and Aunt from Israel. It has been at least 5 years since I have had the chance to see them and it was special to have that opportunity to reconnect and to spend some time together. It was also nice to show them some of the sites around Chicago as we did a great drive down Sheridan Road starting from Lake Forest all the way down thru the Museum Campus.  They also got to see the Art Institute and parts of Millenium Park.
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