Contrary to Popular Belief…

I have not been taken hostage and wisked away to some small Carribean Island by some older woman seeking to torment me for whatever time I have left here on earth. I continue to be hopefull that I will eventually be rescued from this orb by my former alien frends to return to my orginal home world!

Now, with all that being said the facts are these. My real job, the one that pays the bills has consumed my life more than usual the past few weeks and I had to move some distractions to the back burner. Planning for the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas kept me pretty busy, then attending to work the show and the healing process this week after has been interesting. I say healing, because despite the fact I was in Las Vegas, working a show convention floor in a 1,200 square foot booth (that’s the size of my house) just wears an old man out! Throw in a trip I had planned to make to San Diego for a Social Media conference just two weeks prior to that and the distraction factor increases by 10 fold. As it turned out, I missed that, but will attend the missed sessions via Virtual Access in coming weeks.

And this post wouldn’t be complete without blaming some of this on the weather. Okay, enough with the cold already!  This weekend looks to be pretty busy with the Kids Easter Egg Hunt downtown, A-Day in Auburn and the 280 Boogie in Waverly and all this Saturday! I also plan a few articls to post about the upcoming primary election as I return to dabble in politics again. So, I guess I’m back!

The First Tweet

On this Day: In 2006, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sends the world’s first tweet.(Just sitting up with my twttr)

St. Patrick’s Weekend in Opelika, Alabama “Yea, I Did That!”

St Patricks OpelikaOkay, so this is probably not the hotbed of St. Patrick’s Day activities like Savannah, Chicago or New York. I think those are the top three cities for celebrations in the States! Having lived in Savannah for more than a few years, I always wish I could have been there for the celebration this year. Heck in my day, I would be climbing onto tanks from Fort Stewart in the parade to interview the drivers for WJCL televisions coverage of the parade. However, Opelika, not a place that celebrated the holiday five yeras ago, has been thrust into the event with the addition of an Irish Pub downtown. I’ve been there for the first few and it’s where folks gather, add an “O” to their last name and drink a pint or two before the night is done. But, with the addition of the Pub, other downtown restuarants have added some Irish Beer to the taps, some special deals to grab the crowd that will definately make the trip to town to celebrate the Green! I suspect that there will be more than a few of us that wander South Railroad Avenue this weekend with friends to tell stories of this years event! My advice, grab something green to wear, gather with friends and spend part of this holiday in Downtown Opelika! You’ll be glad you did!

Fredrick Road Update

In this mornings email from the City of Opelika, an update on what many feel is the longest running road project of all time! However, this week will show some real progress! The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has let the City of Opelika know that contractors will begin placing asphalt pavement on the new lanes (in the current construction area) beginning Tuesday, March 11th –weather permitting.  This process will continue for at least one week. Travel on Frederick Road will not be stopped or detoured during this paving process; however motorists may experience short delays as trucks carrying asphalt to the paver enter and exit the area. Motorists will be temporarily inconvenienced as the paving train moves past the intersections.  Drivers should be aware of flaggers and possible travel delays as they access Frederick Road from the side streets.  Roads crossing the paving will be Cunningham Drive, Old Opelika Road and Bradford Drive. Once the paving and striping is complete, traffic will be shifted to the newly paved roadway with traffic control devices and markers.  Updates on this phase of work will come as it is scheduled.

Ramblings of Jerry Katz

As I write this post, I really don’t know where it’s going. I’m wrapping up a pretty relaxing weekend, that found Opelika with some really great weather. I got out and walked most everywhere this weekend and topped 10,000 steps on Saturday, a high for me in the 200 Plus days I’ve tracked that sort of thing. Looks like those Mothership reports for work I usually do on Sunday will wait for early Monday morning. Spring Break for Auburn is upon us, the youth group at the Baptist Church by the house took off for their annual spring break mission trip. I don’t know details, but I suspect that the Florida or Alabama coast is involved. While walking on Sunday, I checked on the progress of the new distillery being built out on North Railroad Avenue. It’s a pretty amazing process and I look forward to tasting the product in coming months. In NASCAR, I really thought that Dale Jr would win the race, but a friend (uh, former friend) changed the Karma at the bar and left with 30 laps reamining, so Dale lost it in the final lap. I really believe in this Karma thing. I learned of the plans of Richard Patton and his Cottenseed Studio partners in their purchase of the old railroad warehouses downtown near the Depot. I understand that they have some offices to rent at a very reasonable price in that building that includes all services. Of the ten they have, only five remain. I am tempted, as working from home, although glamous, can get older than you might think! I suspect they don’t have a Tow Truck in their plans, but that’s just me talking! (Yeas sorry that was an inside joke for you out of towners) The weekend music included Eighth and Rail and one very talented lady named Steffi Ledbetter and her band. This young lady, that isn’t old enough to drink in a bar has one increadable voice and if you’re over 50, you’ll probably know every sone she sings. She’s not country or rock folks, she’s doing a lot of the old standards! If you know me and are close to my youthful age, you must plan to be there next time she sings! I actually grabbed a couple of “Truck Stop Honey’s” at The Overall Company on Saturday Night as well.  That sounds pretty exciting, but you should know that I’m talking about beer, not girls!  Also caught the music of a young group from PA in town for the night! Having traveled in December to Toronto, I’ve been pretty close to home the past few months, but that changes with San Diego and Las Vegas, both within the next five weeks. I can’t believe an old Navy (uh, former Navy) guy like me hasn’t been to San Diego, but I look forward to the convention networking party on the USS Midway that first night in town. Need to wrap this post up, as two hours of “The Dead” are coming up on TV. Finally, I can experience some normal stuff after this crazy weekend! (Did I say that) One final thought! St. Patricks Weekend in Opelika? Good place to be this coming weekend? Uh, Yea!

Calendar Say’s “First Friday”

I always like this day each month as downtown Opelika has a little bit more hussle and bussle with shops open late along with the normal selection of bars and restaurants! Been lately? If not, you should plan a visit today!

US Air Force Concert Band & Singing Sergeants Soloists to Perform at Opelika Center for Performing Arts

US Air Force Concert Band

This should be a great show for the entire family. I’ve grabbed some information from the official Air Force website about the group. MISSION: The U.S. Air Force Band honors those who have served, inspires American citizens to heightened patriotism and service, and positively impacts the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America.

World-Class Air Force Communicators
Using the power of music to:
Inspire our audiences worldwide
Create innovative products and programs
Represent Air Force excellence

Through world-class musical presentations and ceremonies, The U.S. Air Force Band helps create bonds between the United States and the worldwide community. Using music to bridge language, cultural, societal and socio-economic differences, the Band’s performances advance international relationships and inspire positive and long-lasting impressions of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America.
The excellence demonstrated by our Airmen musicians is a reflection of the excellence carried out 24 hours a day by Airmen stationed around the globe. These professionals are proud to represent all Airmen, whose selfless service and sacrifices ensure the freedoms we enjoy as American citizens. Here all the show details:


Opelika Performing Arts Center at 1700 Lafayette Pkwy in Opelika on March 5th at 7:30 PM - We have three locations to pick up tickets. Victory Designs, 817 S Railroad Ave, Opelika, AL 36801- (334) 742-9300

Opelika High School Band Office, 1700 Lafayette PW, Opelika, AL 36801 - (334) 745-9717

MAIN TICKET LOCATION: Auburn University Dept. of Music, Department of Music, 101 Goodwin Music Building, Auburn University, AL 36849-5420 - (334) 844-4165

The Official Headline is Below, For Me It’s Good Luck to Jeff & Becky Mishtawy!!

Jeff and Becky MishtawyI grabbed a dinner with good friends Jeff and Becky Mishtawy Wednesday Night as they Embark on a New Adventure in racing! Jeff got me into being a fan of Grand Am Racing through the Team fielded by APR Motorsports a few years ago. Becky, probably gave me the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had in the city when she ran a coffee shop in Koplan’s Alley for several months. .  I hate to see these two friends, that were early Downtown Opelika Dwellers move to Daytona for this new life, but it is Daytona after all. And I will go visit with the camper! All that official New Release Stuff is posted below!


The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) today announced the addition of motorsports veterans Scott Raymond and Jeff Mishtawy to key technical roles, along with reallocation of responsibilities for three existing members of the competition department. Raymond, a race- and championship-winning engineer in IndyCar and sports car racing, has been named IMSA Technical Director and will report to IMSA Vice President of Competition and Technical Regulations Scot Elkins. Raymond will oversee all technical aspects for the seven IMSA-sanctioned series. Raymond won the 2012 IndyCar championship as part of the engineering team for Andretti Autosport and has been a professor of motorsports engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis since 2011.

Raymond was Performance Engineer for de Ferran Motorsports from 2008-11, with five race victories and eight pole positions in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) with drivers Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud. He was Assistant Race Engineer at Newman/Haas Racing in the Champ Car World Series for three series championships (2005-07) and 21 race victories.

A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Raymond earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from Carleton University in Ottawa and a Master of Applied Science (Mechanical Engineering) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.  Raymond will relocate from Indianapolis to the Daytona Beach area with his wife, Rebecca and three sons, Liam, Jude and Noah. He began his new position this week.

“An opportunity like this does not come by very often, so I’m very honored that I’ve been chosen,” said Raymond. “I’ve always been a big fan of sports car racing, especially the variety of cars and the fact that strategy is so critical in performing well. The opportunity to work with all the manufacturers and teams at the highest level is amazing for me. I’m particularly excited to work on the new rules coming on-line for 2017. I can’t put into words how wonderful it is to know that I will be a part of shaping the series as we work with our stakeholders to define the future.”

Mishtawy will serve as the Senior Technical Manager of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, reporting to Raymond. Since September 2007, Mishtawy was Director of Motorsport for Auburn, Ala.-based APR Motorsport, which has won nine Street Tuner class races in Continental Tire Challenge competition.

He also led APR’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series efforts, which included a second-place GT result in the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona with its Audi R8. As a team leader and chief strategist, Mishtawy owns more than 60 top-10 results in various sports car classes since 2007. He is relocating from Alabama to Daytona Beach and began working in his new position this week.

“As a competitor in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge for the past several years, I developed a firm grasp of the technical rules – and worked tirelessly to find ways around them – which will serve me well in this position,” Mishtawy said. “With so many varied makes and models in multiple classes of competition, balancing performance is difficult, but not impossible, especially with the team we now have in place. I could not be happier to have been offered this position and look forward to the future.”

In addition to the appointments of Raymond and Mishtawy, IMSA also announced new responsibilities for existing IMSA competition staff members. Charlie Cook is now Senior Technical Manager of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Rob Elson is Senior Technical Manager of Single-Make Series for IMSA and Mike Kraemer is now IMSA’s Senior Manager of Electronics. All three will report to Raymond.

“Adding Scott and Jeff to our competition team is huge for us as we look to grow our sport,” Elkins said. “Both of them bring tremendous experience to IMSA and there is a great deal of mutual respect between them and our competitors, which is extremely important. Shifting the focus and priorities for Charlie, Rob and Mike allows them and our whole team to play to their strengths.”

A “To Do List” You Better Listen To 30

CarrotI’m afraid to go count the number of Apps I’ve downloaded since getting my iPhone a few years ago. Many of those were “To Do” list or reminders, many of them that I’ve written about here. If you have task list and find that you never seems to get things finished, you might try this one. The developers of the App, call it the “to-do list with personality” but I prefer the word “Attitude”, since I don’t always get things finished quick enough for her. Okay, yes, I just said Her! Because the App, named “Carrot” has the persona of a woman.  The App, like a relationship takes some work to produce required results. You get rewards (points) for completing task and once passing a certain level, you can start scheduling recurrent events.  As a matter of fact, this rewards system is the closest thing I have to a game on the phone. No Games on my iPhone! Carrot is working great for me for those quick easy task I should do daily, but are easily forgotten when something sidetracks me during the day! Oh did I mention the app comes complete with a Cat. Yep, I said it, a Cat. And one task you must do daily is feed the cat. Don’t stay away from your list very long, or Carrot changes the look from a fresh white background, to an evil menacing black! She also will make remarks that strike fear in your heart. It’s not free, but well worth the $1.99 I paid for it. I’ve always said I get more done, when there’s a woman’s guidance!

Oh Canada!

So what’s with the Canadian Flag on my front porch this afternoon? If you know me, I will occassionally lose a bet and have to do something I wouldn’t normally do. For example, having to put that Auburn tag on the truck for a year. Well, with the sweep of USA Hockey by Canada, I had another little wager. The flag is only up for the weekend!

Oh Canada Wins