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Monday, January 1, 2018

2018: Predictions & Resolutions

Closer to Carnac the Magnificant(1) than Nostradamus, but never the less here are a few predictions for 2018.

Kmart/Sears declares bankruptcy.
Been to a busy Kmart?  Me neither.  Chaulk this one up to WallyWorld and just really, really bad decision making.  Sears is already fire-selling its brands in an attempt to stave off the inevitable.

The Scranton School District is Taken Over by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Local leadership lacks the talent to dig a district out of the hole that has been generations in the making.  I'll note that, for the record, current plans for fiscal solvency don't include any drastic changes to high school sports or wholesale staffing reductions in administrative ranks.  That tells you a lot about political will...or lack therein.

By the way, if you're waiting for the Harvard MBA to save the day, well, get used to waiting.

I'll note also that not a single penny will be recovered from the Scranton School District's twice renewed no-bid busing contractor.  Said local businessman continues to laugh all the way to the bank, as the public blusters and school board members cower.  It's not even a fair fight.

Donald Trump is still President.
It will be discovered that the President is knee-deep in debt to sketchy lenders, some of whom are closely connected to Russian oligarchs and mobsters.  He'll also continue with his Jr. High inspired tweeting.  None of this though will be enough to inspire a "political power before country" Republican Congress to actually do anything about this national embarrassment.  Secretly most Republicans will wish he'd just resign; publically they'll all just hide.

Democrats will not fare much better, deciding to passively wait for a Trump implosion that will never occur.  In typical Democratic Party fashion, they'll continue to be their own worst enemy, wagging fingers at about a third of the national electorate that they simply don't (choose to) understand.

Nothing Changes in North Korea.
Nothing will change, period.  The Chinese seem to despise the Kim regime, but they also despise the thought of a million Korean refugees crossing the border if sanctions were to be actually and fully enforced.  The President's Russian friends will continue to violate sanctions as well.

Apple's iPhone X is a bust (literally).
All those Christmas gifts will be out in the real world, subject real word things like being dropped.  See HERE.  Undeterred, Apple simply pushes out yet a new iDevice that costs even more, with legions of bun-headed buyers with short attention spans eagerly awaiting.

Lackawanna County Commissioner Patrick "Cheese" O'Malley becomes a Republican (again).
In fact, he already is a de-facto Republican, given his "alliance" with fellow Tea Party commissioner Laureen Cummings.  Now the political party switcheroo may not actually happen, but it says a lot (of not so good things) about local Democratic party leadership that this guy is even allowed to call himself a Democrat.

* * * * * *

My track record for predictions isn't so great, but hopefully, I'll have better luck with my 2018 resolutions.

My Physical Health
Eating - Be more mindful when it comes to eating.  When it's time to eat, I will ask myself two questions:  Am I truly hungry?  Is what I am eating truly good for my body and mind?
Activity - Get back to engaging in 30 minutes of dedicated physical activity, no less than 5 times per week.
My Mental Health
Seek Peace with Loss.
Limit Social Media Time.

Learning & Career
Complete My Master's Degree - For real, this time I mean it.  I just need to pass a SHRM exam.
Career - Actively manage my career through networking and finding opportunities to grow as a professional.
Learn to Play the Bass Guitar - I'll find a teacher and take some lessons, as soon as I pass my SHRM exam.  My goal is to be able to play "Old Stewball"(2) with my in-laws one day.

Treasure the Relationship I have with My Wife(3) - It's far too easy to take something for granted, something for which I have no intention ever of doing.
Cultivate Friendships - I'm not always the best friend I can possibly be, having found social connections difficult to manage over the course of my 50-some year life.  Part of this is social awkwardness, part of this (lack of) skill, part of this is prioritization.

(1) Old Johnny Carson bit; see HERE.
(2) Old folk song; see HERE.
(3) July 3, 2015 - The Circle Is Now Complete.

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