A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look (at that ballot of yours!)🗳️

This month’s topic: Why are there so few prerequisites in running for congress?

BACKGROUND

Like some of you (okay, many) the past few weeks, we’ve been perusing and marking our bingo cards – I mean, election cards- in the hopes of putting in charge the group that is destined to either botch our next several years or rescue them from the “evil ones” (you feel free to pick your sides – my job is hard enough here folks!).

Then, we patiently endure seemingly endless hours/ days/ weeks in tallying everything up. Then, we huddle up around our televisions (or computers) and moan, groan, cheer, and sigh as the results slowly and methodically drift across our screens. We’ve even been conditioned to wait for “run-off results” later in the year.  How does that help to increase “voter turnout?” Koo-koo, right?

My question is: why are we putting ourselves through all of this when it seems all the “elected” must do is find enough people to mark their ballots in their direction?  I mean, I don’t know about you, but I personally think it’s irresponsible to run for office to create the laws of the land when you can’t even prove that you know anything about anything.

Are members of congress lawmakers – or very expensive seat fillers with rubber stamps?

I mean, some of these “candidates” couldn’t get elected dog catcher because most American voters love their dogs (cats too) way too much to put them through hell dealing with an incompetent “d-catcher”  for the next 2-6 years. There must be a better way.

REQUIREMENTS FOR RUNNING FOR CONGRESS

So, basically, there are age and residence restrictions. Should the candidate be required to know anything about the law?  Why not? Why would a lawmaker not be required to know anything about the law before occupying a spot that pays nearly $200,000 per year of tax-payer dollars?

SOLUTIONS/ PROPOSALS

A Closer Look

with Anthony Newcombe

Topic

This month’s topic: Why are NFL players allowed to get behind the quarterback and push him into the end zone, but the defense can’t sack him in the pocket?

Issue

Many of my followers follow me to get a giggle or two once a month.  However, today, I’m not playing around anymore.  I know we’re only about a third of the way through the 2022 campaign, but it’s starting to look like this is going to be an infuriating season. Right, non-Philly fans? You’re undefeated at the time of this writing and your MLB team is in the NLCS.  So, sit down and shut up for now.🤓

I just hate to see such an exciting, addictive sport like football turn into a hapless medley of contradictions. One example is the allowance of pile-driving the quarterback (running back or “wildcat back”) into the end zone or across the first down marker. Does this jibe with all the other rules like: hitting a defenseless receiver, leading with the helmet, striking a quarterback during a running slide, or myriad pass interference calls in the secondary?

What about the flags they constantly throw when a field goal defender launches himself off the backside of a wide-haunched teammate?  I thought they were “trying to protect the safety of the players first and foremost?” How is that achieved in this matter? Oh, and don’t get me started on the quarterback sack issue.  You know, the one where certain quarterbacks (wink, wink – not any of my team’s!!) are afforded the launching of the yellow laundry while others are completely ignored?

Personally, I’d think a player would prefer his own teammate place his cleats on his cushy tushy while he leaps into the air to “Mutombo” a field goal kick (“NO, NO, NO!”) rather than dig his helmet into my spine and heave ho forward like some ancient Spartan of the past just to get me another yard or two.

My wishes aside – seriously, is one really “safer” than the other?  I think not.  It’s kind of ridiculous if you ask me.  I think the game is getting so far away from its intended roots that we might want to call it something else soon.  How about “Pickleball?” No?

What do YOU think?

P.S. Apologies for being such a serious stiff this month …

-A.N.

PROFILE

Anthony Newcombe is a 4-time entrepreneur, published author and narrator, full-stack developer, and a very humble guy. He thinks he’s “super-skilled” around the house, but his wife would definitely say otherwise …

A Closer Look…

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

This month’s topic: Hotel doors … ALL of them!🚪🚪

Issue

Why do hotel doors cause so much of a racket when closing?

No matter the quality, rate, or general cleanliness of a hotel, they all seem to have one irritating trait very much in common:  Their room doors make a ton of noise when they closeBe it coming or going, all we hear is BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Think about it:  when’s the last time you visited even a 5-star property that, well, won’t wake you up with a better success rate than the cheap alarm clock or the unreliable automated operator call?

In fact, I just completed back-to-back trips in completely different cities (and hotels) and both times I was awakened by the constant slamming of some jerky in the hallway either having a really late night out or trying to get to the airport just in time to find out his flight was cancelled.

Solutions

Did the hotel chains ever consider hiring Rolls Royce to design their doors?  RR has a pretty good reputation for designing doors that assure “soft landings.”  Or, how about Sub-Zero? Their iceboxes (does “icebox” date me?) seem to be pretty quiet when I open (and close) them for my sleepwalking snack(s).  I know, it’s probably a bit pricey. But you’d think that being in a copycat industry, SOMEONE might have already figured this one out.  Spoiler Alert: they have NOT.

You’d think the hotel chains would be excited about this.  Then, they have something better to promote than “free breakfast and Wi-Fi” offered! They really do need our help, folks. 

Any ideas?

-A.N.

Happy fall quarter!

See you next month

Profile

Anthony Newcombe is a 4-time entrepreneur who has built companies in multiple verticals. He is also a published author and narrator (Sorry, 50 is NOT the New 30 – ©2019). Anthony spends his free time tracking his remote-controlled golf ball around various courses in the metropolitan area.

A Closer Look …

Let’s take a closer look

with Anthony Newcombe

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The Slap!

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve seen enough of the Oscars’ incident last month, so we’ll use an image less viewed, but still provide a link to the incident for those who would like to click through to it. It’s amazing that a few weeks prior to said slap incident, we posted a new entry on why, how and what is making us so “out of control” with our emotions?

Then, like a lightning bolt from outer space, the Will Smith incident occurs. Again, when did we start losing such control of ourselves? Is it a Covid-19 thing? Something else?

Let us know your thoughts. We strongly believe that a simple revisit to last month’s “intuitive post” is well worth your time and effort.

See you in May!

A Closer Look …  😡😡

with Anthony Newcombe 

Let’s take a closer look …

Date: Wednesday March 9, 2022 

This month’s topic:  Why does it feel like anything now means everything?!   

THIS FIGHTING TAKES PLACE … EVERYWHERE! 

It just seems like any subject we discuss nowadays is like the end of the world. Airports/ airplane aisles, vaccines, masks, reading choices, luxury taxes, hirings and firings, gasoline/ grocery/ ticket lines – you name it – we will fight each other seemingly to the death if we don’t agree with something for it. You don’t like what someone says on a plane? Kick their a**! Don’t like the mask they’re wearing? Kick their a**! Don’t want to pay luxury taxes to small market teams? Refuse to field any players or teams…STRIKE! Not to mention all the unnecessary bombing and warmongering going on in the world.   

ALMOST ANYBODY FIGHTS … EVEN THE ONES WHO CLEARLY CANNOT 

Where did all these a**kickers come from? I’ve never seen so many people (most of whom honestly can’t fight) balling up their fists and letting it rip! Women just the same! It’s just odd to me. I always thought I was the one with had a somewhat of a short fuse, but it appears the saying, “If you live long enough, you’ll see it all” really applies more now than ever.   

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION? 

Perhaps it’s a confluence of so many negative events dovetailing – and combusting – in real time. Or maybe it’s something else. Am I missing something, or are you do you seeing the same thing? If you asked me, I would like to see this kind of energy going towards rebuilding roads and bridges, relieving student debt, cleaning up the environment, and getting a grip on our dependence on foreign energy.  All I know is we need to collectively try another path. Because this one isn’t solving anything.  Otherwise, I don’t see us having a whole lot left to argue and fight over in the end!   

Any ideas?   

See you in the spring!   ☀️🍃 ☀️🍃☀️🍃

-A.N. 

A Closer Look🏈🏈

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

Date: 2/2/2022 – Deuces Wild!!

🏈This month’s topic: the NFL, its owners, and its ways 🏈

So, it finally happened.  Just yesterday, as NFL football fans were digesting the results of the playoffs, we ran into some serious image headwinds for the league and its owners.   

The nuts and bolts of it all 

Brian Flores, the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins (via Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots organization), has filed a class action lawsuit against the league and three of its teams pertaining to everything from bribery (see Stephen Ross, the Dolphins’ team owner) to interview sabotage (against John Elway & Co. with the Denver Broncos) to “preemptive filling of a head coach position” he hadn’t yet interviewed for (with the New York Giants) that was discovered by virtue of a botched congratulatory text intended for a different Brian (new NYG head coach, Brian Daboll, from the Buffalo Bills)!  We couldn’t write a fable for television as intriguing as this is already turning out to be. 

Where does this leave us? 

As I’ve been told by elders during my childhood while playing ball and breaking a few windows, it’s not good … at all.  We are talking about a league that is extremely image-conscious, has certain “rules” in place that are clearly ignored, and is run by owners who tend to pay attention only to issues that which will enrich them further as opposed to addressing difficult topics that would make things better for everyone in the long run.   

The real problem 

Call it what you’d like, but I’m going to say what I’ve always said, and that is there is very little “willingness to change” the way the NFL (and its teams) operate today.  Sure, there is a “Rooney Rule” in place, and the majority of the league’s players and starters are Black. However, there is but one (1) head coach (Mike Tomlin) who reflects the number (and type?) of players who are the helm of the sport and league’s  success currently.  

I ask you to look away from the NFL for a moment and towards the National Hockey League (NHL).  Ask yourself:  what would it seem like if the supermajority of players were coached and owned by some other (i.e., non-White) group of people?  Would anyone notice or would nearly everyone notice? That, my friends, is the real problem.  The issues stemming from this area are byproducts of the real problem.   

Find a solution 

Now that the proverbial “cat is (entirely) out of the bag,” we should ask ourselves the hardest questions of all: What is to be done about this? How and who should be compensated for their loss(es), and what will it take to move forward from this and ensure that real change is implemented, and we never see this happen again? 

Any ideas? 

See you next month (after most of you guys thaw out!) 

-A.N. 

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Anthony Newcombe is a 4-time entrepreneur, author, and narrator. For more information, please visit https://writeplus.biz/about-us/

A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe 

Let’s take a closer look …

Date: January 6, 2021 

This month’s topic:  

Hello 2022 … how is it different than 2021? 

 2020’s #NYE thought: “Wow, if we can just get to 2021, all will be fine!”  And then, chaos on Capitol Hill. This, followed by the Delta variant incurring its wrath. Now it’s Omicron. “Wow, if we can just get to 2022, all will be just fine!” Well, what the h*ll are we supposed to do NOW?! 

Last fall, others simply fretted over whether they would be able to exchange gifts over the holidays. Remember the shipping container fiasco? Will that holiday gift arrive on time? If so, when and how much more will it cost? Should I go onto Amazon.com like almost everyone else who used to shop in the brick-and-mortar retail stores? We better hope and pray these guys never need a government bailout!  

Now, we’re in 2022 (exhale)  

Factoid: we just tallied over 1 million new U.S. infections in one day earlier this week. Some Americans are having to wait in line for hours for COVID tests or pay up to $75 per testing kit at a local pharmacy. All this simply to determine whether or not they can return to work or send their kid(s) back to school for the new year. Worse yet, it looks like the few checks sent last year for childcare are instead being diverted to pay for overpriced groceries, gasoline, school supplies, medications – just to name a few.  

 So, with all this, one would think 2022 would bring about a “fix” for our problems. Well, with just a few days into the new year it doesn’t seem so, does it? Interest rate hikes are looming (and expected to rise beginning EOQ1 2022), gas prices are forecasted to hit $4.00/gallon (or more) in many states, which translates to practically $6.00/ gallon in some spots like California.  Home prices are skyrocketing still, but let’s face it: who can really afford to move anywhere “cheaper” in the country? 

Any ideas? 

See you next month (at the gas station) 

-A.N. 

A Closer Look … Misuse-of-words-English-People-Incorrect-Wrong-

A Closer Look

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look

A “Blast from the Past” Edition (so much fun, we’ll re-publish it!) 

Flubbing our words and phrases?   

nother vs. another (“That’s a whole nother world”) 

Uh, NO it is not.  But it IS a whole incorrect sentence.  I’ve sat in professional meetings, witnessed intelligent people on television and interacting on large city streets misuse this term over and over.  How about “a whole OTHER” perhaps? It’s easy to remember because all you have to do to not be wrong is simply drop one tiny letter, the “a” 

uncharted vs. unchartered (“We’re in uncharted territory”) 

Here lies another constant.  It is used with such frequency that even we may, at times, become confused as to which is the correct choice.  When navigating areas (or waters) that are unfamiliar are we “in uncharted waters” or are we in “unchartered waters?”   

I always believed, being part of the general “charter” community, that the correct usage would be unchartered; meaning “not ever having sailed through these waters.”  However, if we think of “uncharted” waters, we could reflect on our childhood where gold, treasures & stuff existed – and envision other option of “attempting to navigate a map without any defined charts.”   Who knows…? 

pacificly vs. specifically (“I was pacificly talking about the last time I saw him”) 

We probably first heard this one around the holiday dinner table spouted from the mouth of our Aunt Ida.  ‘Pacificly’ is NOT a word.  Just noticing all of the red underlining will tell you that spellcheck specifically disagrees with you.  However, “pacifically” IS an actual word, but is still incorrect if used in this situation.  It may refer to a large body of the earth’s ocean separating numerous islands that we would love to charter (or chart). 

relevant vs. relative (“It’s all relevant!!”) 

No, it is NOT.  My understanding is of ‘relevant’ is that which is pertinent to or important to something else.  ‘Relative’ is more of an “it depends” or “relates to.”  See? It’s easy to remember… 

supposably vs. supposedly  (“She was supposably the one…”) 

Supposably is just horrible all the way around.  (Again, see all of the red in spellcheck if you don’t trust me) It sounds like you took the wrong advice of your Uncle Vito from that fantasy sports commercial.  However, it is a never-ending misuse of a pretty cool word…supposedly.  “Supposable” is supposedly a word, whereas “supposably” is a sign of, well, incorrect grammar. 

misconfuse vs. misconstrue  (“He misconfused what I said to him”) 

This was one I heard about a decade or more ago on one of those live court television programs where an actual hitman in a criminal case testified using (or misusing) one big word after another.  It was so amazing that I couldn’t turn the television off and was late to the office as a result.  However, it continues to be a source of humor that my spouse and I still occasionally giggle about to this day. 

One final note 

Back in high school (a few years back), I recall a hilarious moment in English class when our teacher informed us that one of her students required a tongue-lashing for incorrectly using a transition.  In a nutshell, the student stated his idea in one sentence but then attempted to transition it with a new sentence beginning with “Another words” instead of “In other words.” Though I felt bad that the teacher publicly shamed him (she’d probably be fired for it in today’s class), I must admit that I laughed at it as much (and as loudly) as anyone.   

A ‘word to the wise’ (Oops, I mean “words” to the wise) 

  • K.I.S.S. (no, not the Gene Simmons variety) 
  • K-E-E-P 
  • I-T 
  • S-I-M-P-L-E 
  • S-I-M-P-L-E-T-O-N 

Anything you have to say? 

-A.N. 

A Closer Look

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

STATUES

Q: Do we need them for … EVERYTHING?!

First, there are the political and war heroes. Washington and Lincoln are pretty cool, Pat Tillman is amazing. We can argue the pros and cons of these choices all day long. Then, we have a smattering of the pure sports heroes: Bill Russell, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Franco Harris, and many others.*

However, when you think about it, some of these “erections,” (for lack of a better word) seem nothing more than some sort of wishful tribute to, well, his or their e—-

There a more than a few. Rocky Balboa, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the dudes from Breaking Bad and others. Actually, Arnold’s is in Austria, but you get my drift …

♘Why?♘

Why are these even built? I mean, as far as Rocky goes, there was guy named Joe Frazier who came from Philly who just had his statue approved over 30 years after Rocky’s. He actually gave his physical life to the sport of boxing. Why did they mount a statue of a fictional character who, as amazing as the character was, was just a movie character and nothing more.?!

As far as the Breaking Bad characters go, why would it be a good thing to aspire to be a meth dealer?  How does that help the citizens of Albuquerque, New Mexico – let alone its visiting tourists? No offense, but is that the best they can come up with in the state? I don’t think so. What does it say to our kids? Just seems a bit thoughtless to me.

In my opinion, it diminishes the achievements of actual heroes. Remember, little kids visit these cities and come away thinking they saw something of historical value. Spoiler alert: they did not.  Therefore, I believe we should be a bit more thoughtful about whom we memorialize for life. It gives the world a very shallow and disingenuous impression of us.

Okay, so the Statue of Liberty isn’t really a woman who lived and achieved anything in the U.S. You got me there. However, it is understood that she is a gift from France.  And while she too is  purely a “figurehead,” she does in fact symbolize freedom and the American dream for those who come to this country in search of real heroes.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let’s argue it out!

See you in the fall … Yes, I said it: the FALL!

-A.N.

* See our memorabilia page while you’re on site >>> BAN Sports

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Anthony Newcombe is a 4-time entrepreneur, author, narrator, and full-stack developer. He enjoys reading what other authors write and swimming when it gets over 110 degrees.

A Closer Look

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#CancelStudentDebt – some alternatives? 

The Issues: 

  1. Who gets relief? 
  2. What happens to those who “responsibly” paid off their debt? 
  3. Who’s on first? ⁉️

Mark Cuban weighed in on this matter a few months ago.  If the super-rich say we should do something, then, shouldn’t we just fall in line?  America seems to follow the lead of the rich and famous every single time.  What changed this time around?  Did I miss something?

Background

Anyone who follows me online knows one thing: I’ve made myself abundantly clear on my position regarding this subject matter. It’s littered on my social media profiles, I post about it all the time, and I honestly believe it’s as much a hindrance to our young graduates’ futures as inflation, climate change, gun control, abortion rights, and/or any of the other “hot-button topics” we spend so much time and effort arguing about these days.  Let’s face it:  a pile of debt does absolutely nothing positive for someone starting out in the current business or real-world environment.

Solutions

However, let’s not be selfish or naive.  We know there’s another side.  Let’s go there.  Right now.  One counterargument is: “Why overlook those who paid their balances?!” Let’s not do that.

What if the government followed through and struck $10,000 of student debt for those who are carrying a balance at this time; while also providing a $10,000 federal tax credit to those who can prove they already paid their balances in full? Of course, included could be an “opt-out” provision for those who don’t require either, correct?

Like everything else, it’s never going to be a cheap or simple solution.  Just like with all the other ongoing crises: Ukraine, Covid-19, homelessness, etc.  However, what it does provide is a reasonable alternative that is fair and all-inclusive.  And  how do we pay for it?  It seems as though  somewhere in that $30 trillion dollar pile of debt we’ve accumulated, there must be something that can be shifted around to do this.  Congress just needs to work much harder and more diligently to find a way to make this happen.

It’s sort of like that old auto mechanic commercial, “you can either pay me now, or pay me later.”

Any thoughts?

See you in August (try to stay cool till then guys!)

-A.N.

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Anthony Newcombe is a 4-time entrepreneur, author, narrator, and full-stack developer. He blogs about nearly every topic possible and enjoys tinkering in the yard on weekends.

A Closer Look …

with Anthony Newcombe

Let’s take a closer look …

Date: June _13, 2022

Topic: Inflation: Can we offset it? Here are some thoughts

Everyone keeps talking about “inflation, inflation, inflation.” If you ask me, it’s one of those topics that you don’t even need to discuss to understand that it exists. It’s the “elephant blocking the gas pump. Perhaps it’s the elephant blocking the grocery aisles. Or maybe it’s the same elephant pushing the interest rates to unthinkable levels in such a short span of time. 

Backdrop

Regardless of who (or how) we may believe is ultimately responsible for all of this, the fact of the matter is that we are a nation of 330 plus million, living in a world of 7 plus billion people. We are consuming the same air, energy resources, and food at a pace we’ve never seen in history. We’re an aging country that is unable to bring in anywhere near as many replacements as we are (and will continue) losing for the next 15-30 years or more. Oh, and lest we (not) forget, we are still grappling with a pandemic which, predictably, has morphed into a years-long menace. 

Solutions

 
So, where does that leave us? Well, in my humble opinion, I think we might want to pass some of the infrastructure bills that are collecting dust in D.C. The more able-bodied people who are yanked from their video and FB screens and are out replacing some grossly outdated structures around this nation, the quicker we can produce some actual dollars that aren’t printed and sent out from D.C.  

Also, this might bring a little fresh air into the lungs of the same kids who are taking over streets our streets, smash-and-grabbing merchandise off our retail shelves, and, of course, breaking into our cars and houses to pick up a catalytic converter or a Rolex watch to sell online or in the black market somewhere. 

Yes, I know what you’re going to say. “We need tougher policing – these kids are savages!” (Or something to the like). Perhaps, some are, and in some ways, we do. But I believe the majority have simply lost their way somewhat and need to be shown a legal and hopeful method to win. Raising rents, tuition, ignoring homelessness, and pretending that everything will take care of itself if we just elect (fill in the blank), will NOT do the trick. We need to offset our losses. We need to provide the right sort of distractions. The ones that give a positive new pathway, that burn energy from frustration, that teach new skills, and that, most importantly, supply a focus and the ability earn actual dollars worthy of the effort put in! 

Any thoughts? 

See you in July 🌥️ (Let’s bring the sun out!)

-A.N. 

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Anthony Newcombe is a 4-time entrepreneur, author, narrator and full-stack developer. He blogs about almost every current topic and likes to tinker around in the yard on weekends.

A Closer Look

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with Anthony Newcombe

This month’s topic: Reunions, reunions, reunions, reunions  

Surprise! We’re going to take a risk this month and discuss some of the main reasons why I won’t be attending any of the reunions for which I’ve been receiving invitations  in my email recently. I know summer is upon us and we’ve been out of school for quite a while, but I would like to discuss a few things that I know many others agree with but lack the indecency to share.  

Background

To begin with, I don’t know about you, but all I see in my junk/social/promo mailboxes (about 30 of them) are invitations to attend this reunion or that reunion. I’m not going to reveal my exact age, but let’s just say I attended school during  the pre-Internet age.  

And don’t get me wrong, if I could recall enjoying most of my experiences with the same fervor as of some of those who are encouraging me to attend, I might drop some of my now commitments to fly in and see some of the potentially horrific sights and mild remembrances awaiting me. Let’s face it, it’s been such a lonnnnnnnng time (as the old band Boston might say).

Speaking of faces, that’s one of my biggest concerns with attending one of these. I recall attending one reunion only 5 years after graduation, and I couldn’t believe where some of these faces ended up. I’m talking jowls around the knees stuff here. And even more gob smacking is when they spend a fortune to have some overpaid “scalpeler” (for lack of a better word) yank their face into some tightly wound Stitchcraft of sorts.  

Nonetheless, I’m a little too forthright to pretend I don’t notice this stuff. I know I have more than my share of physical flaws (weight gain, hair loss, etc.), but I also know at least I resemble the same general species I was “back in the day.” Perhaps some of us don’t realize it, but it can be outright traumatic to see some of the sights at these reunions!  

So, the next time you wonder why some of us are incommunicado as far as reunions go, just break out this blog entry and take a glance from a reverse angle to see why it may not be on everyone’s top shelf this summer (and next decade’s shelf likewise!)  

Any thoughts?  

See you next month … or, to use an old one from the yearbook: “H.A.G.S.”   

-A.N.  

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Anthony Newcombe is a 4-time entrepreneur, author, narrator, and left-handed golfer (but writes right-handed). He created A Closer Look and Three Questions on two of his 3 proprietary sites in order to give his audience insights on what he thinks about and does in his crazy business life …