We all need a Maxine.


White House: Good morning and thank you for calling the White House. Please listen carefully as our menu has changed. For President Biden, dial 1. For Vice President Harris, dial 1¾, not her former extension 2, as she is rising quickly. For former President Trump, dial extension 2024. As for the Trump children, well their phones have been cancelled. And, for Dr. Fauci and our new Vaccines For Everyone program, please dial MASKUP (or 627587).

Me: {Dials MASKUP}

White House: Thank you for calling our amazing new Vaccines For Everyone program! Maxine the Queen of Vaccines here. How may I help you? But please keep in mind this is the White House and no one person can ever truly help you. It takes a village, a committee and a task force to get anything done around here.

Me: Is there anybody in this morning I can talk with about getting an appointment for a vaccination? I tried and tried to book one online. My computer exploded after three hours of constantly hitting refresh and now I need wrist surgery.

White House: Perhaps I can be of some assistance after all, sir. I see you have been holding for several hours and we apologize for this “short” delay. We’re very proud to introduce you to our newest initiative to benefit all Americans. Okay, we have hit a few bumps in the road, but we are now able to offer you a multitude of options - color-coded no less - from which to choose. First, we have Pfizer in blue and Pfizer in pink, also known as shots one and two. We have Moderna in orange and green. And, Johnson & Johnson in one color…..yellow. An off-shoot of the J & J is a very attractive lavender vaccine produced in cooperation with Merck. And, of course, we are busy developing a variety of other colors for the new variants. So, lots of good choices. Which would you like and how many?

Me: No preference. Like the experts say, I’ll take the one I can get. What do you recommend?

Whte House: We think they’re all good, but I’m sure you can appreciate it’s just not as simple as saying send me two Pfizers and one Moderna. Unfortunately, supply lines are a tad clogged at the moment. You wouldn’t expect perfection, would you? We are the government, after all. Like I said before - a few small bumps in the road. If you live in the far northwest corner of Idaho, for example, a late winter blizzard is holding up all deliveries. In Texas, the big storm cut off power to our COVID vaccine distribution center. Mudslides in California have made it nearly impossible for UPS and FedEx to make deliveries. And, on and on it goes. The best thing I can tell you is to get a good wrist brace, a new computer, and an army of friends and family to help. Then think local and just keep hitting refresh till you find something. If you can’t get a vaccine, settle for high powered Tylenol. I hope that helps.

Me: Wait. Please don’t hang up. I need more information. Tell me more.

White House: I’m sorry sir. This is all of the information I am allowed to release. The rest of the report has been redacted. Thank you for calling the White House. You have been speaking with Maxine the Queen of Vaccines. Please remain on the line to take a brief survey about your satisfaction with our Vaccines For Everyone program.

If for any reason you are unable to find a local vaccine resource within six months, please contact us again.

P.S. Some blog readers may think COVID-19 is heading for the exit, but it’s not there yet. My daughter and blog editor, Tracy, tested positive just last Friday after spending the last year taking a ton of precautions. This thing is everywhere.

Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance. We are almost there!

DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.


This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!


They call me Modem Man.


I was surrounded by techie people (aka geeks) when I was growing up in Princeton, New Jersey. Not an iota of that ever rubbed off on me. To be clear, I am not anti-tech. It’s just that I don’t think in a way that leads me in that direction. Just last week I spent the better part of an HOUR trying to login to my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts on our new laptop. Let’s just say it involved several go rounds of wrong passwords, inadvertently closed tabs, multiple “change password” codes, my wife’s email account, extended phone consultation with my daughter and more inadvertently closed tabs. I got it, but it was ... a process.


In the 1950s, we lived in a two-family house. Separated from us by nothing but a wall was the internationally acclaimed mathematician Atle Selberg and his family. Dr. Selberg spent more than 50 years on the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, which is described as one of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual curiosity (37 Nobel Prize recipients). Go on the internet and you will see this description of Dr. Selberg’s fascinating focus: known for his work in analytic number theory and the theory of automorphic forms, and in particular for bringing them into relation with spectral theory. I couldn’t have said it better myself. How did that not rub off on me?

On one side of our two-family house lived the Brown family. George Brown, a scientist, was a key mover and shaker in development of what is now color television. He was based at RCA’s R & D campus.


On the other side of us was the Dick Melville family. He worked in what resembled a WWII quonset hut across the street from the Institute for Advanced Study. One weekend, he came over and asked my father if the two of us would like to go to where he worked and look at something new called a computer.


I will never forget entering that rundown building. Think of it as one room perhaps 20’ x 40’. When I close my eyes, I can see it today just as it was all those years ago.


Inside that room was a lot of noise – clang, clang, clang – the sound of metal hitting metal. Overhead were hundreds of different color wires resembling airborne spaghetti. All around the room were large, gray metal boxes of various heights and sizes, all connected to each other. It was obvious something important was happening in that room. Dick Melville said, You’re looking at the future. To me then, that was crazy talk. Little did I know the significance of what I was seeing.


Much later in life, I remember the first FAX machines. We had one in our office. It ate lots of shiny slick paper. About two-thirds of the way down each page was a large black line about an inch from side to side. We knew we were on to something great. How can you beat six minutes a page? Surely, we had reached man’s limits with respect to technology.


When the internet first surfaced (thank you, Al Gore), I remember telling a colleague it was a passing fad. As I recall, Bill Gates said something similar at that time. Because of my accumulated technological expertise gained over a lifetime of intense study, our office manager came to call me Modem Man. That was a rank I wore proudly.


It’s been a long technological journey for me. Thanks to a lot of hard work, I am now able to turn my desktop computer on and off, cut and paste copy for my weekly blog and send a text message on my phone. At last I understand the difference between FacedIn and LinkBook. It hasn’t been easy, but I have persevered. Modem Man is alive and well and catching up.

DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.


This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!


A full day of work is highly overrated.


As the world of work is slowly opening up again, we have arrived at a moment of truth ..... and the truth is America is on the edge of becoming a lazy nation. Very lazy.


A lot has been written about the workplace of the future and how technology will replace workers, how we will telecommute from our home offices and so on. What very few of us are talking about is the broad trend toward working less.


Our basic non-Leap Year calendar has 365 days a year. Begin by subtracting 104 of those days for weekends. That leaves 261 days for work, or does it?


My extensive research shows there are 10 federal holidays plus an extra one every four years for Inauguration Day when a presidential term begins, and most newly minted Presidents start their job by not working on day one. President Biden set a bad example by working, but let’s assume the next President will not work on the first day. So, subtract 11 days for federal holidays to accommodate Inauguration Day. Now we are down to a potential 250 workdays.

Then there are days that surround holidays. Christmas Eve. The day after Thanksgiving. Good Friday. And, so on. Everyone stretches those as far as they can. Let’s round those off to another five days or so. Now we are at 245.


Let’s say we average 15 vacation days a year. New subtotal is 230.


Subtract another 10 days for being sick. It’s good to take those days off even when we’re not sick. They’re great for activities like bowling or fishing. New subtotal is 220.


In some states like Michigan, big companies give workers a day off for the start of deer hunting season. 219.

What self-respecting management would fail to grant a day off for your birthday? 218.

And, many companies such as the one I worked for celebrate Quarter Days. Employees can use those four days for important personal business like going to the dentist or seeing a divorce lawyer. Bingo – 214.


And, it wouldn’t be accurate if we forgot to give everyone the equivalent of another two days for family emergencies, funerals or school conferences. 212.


Respected academic studies show that even when we are at work, most of us are not engaged to any great extent. This is known by the technical term “screwing around time.” So, it’s probably fair to conclude that perhaps only half of the time we are at work we are really working. That means 212 work days @50% efficiency must be reduced to 106 actual workdays. Give or take a day or so, 106 workdays means most of us are not working 259 days out of a possible 365.


Sounds good to me. I don’t know about you, but I’m too busy livin’ life to be bothered with who’s working and how much. No time for that when there are trips to take and golf courses to play. I never let the so-called dignity of work get in the way of having fun. Fore!

DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.


This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!

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