Today marks the first Formula
One race in the US in several years, wait you didn’t know that? Its no surprise as F1 is virtually unknown and unpublicized
in the states. Even a casual race fan frequently confuses Indy Car and F1 here. I’m not going to go into a point by
point comparison to explain the differences, but I will just touch on the highlights and point out the single biggest difference.
F1 is a truly global sport with drivers and teams from all over the map. Indy is a uniquely American product,
there are plenty of foreign drivers (many formerly in F1) but the teams and sponsors are american. Indy runs a mix of ovals
and street courses where F1 runs exclusively road courses. The cars and engines are quite different as well. Indy everything
is spec and all teams run virtually the same thing, in F1 each team designs their own car.
it for the basics, there are a lot more subtle differences but in a nutshell that touches on the main points. The best way
for americans to think of it is like football (soccer here) its a sport the world watches and americans just don’t understand.
The biggest difference is something most people don’t even think about when comparing the two. The biggest
difference between Indy and F1 is one man. Yup, one person Bernie Ecclestone. Love him or hate him (and I lean toward the
latter) he is the man responsible for F1’s popularity on the world stage. Where Indy has a board of directors with political
infighting, a revolving door of CEOs and the constant battle for control between team owners and the board, F1 has Bernie.
Indy uses so much energy to fight amongst themselves its hard to see them ever retaining their former glory, F1 has Bernie.
Many people disagree with his decisions and opinions, but he rules with an iron fist and in the end, that is actually a good
Will Bernie be able to crack the elusive US market? Will F1 gain in popularity here? Only
time will tell, but as much as I don’t like him, I’m not betting agains him.
As you may or may not know,
we had a little storm here in New Jersey a few weeks ago. It was apparently the second most powerful storm to make landfall
in the US. Needless to say there was massive amounts of damage done, much more than you probably saw on the news. Understandably
this caused wide spread power outages. In the face of these outages the power company’s efforts to restore power were
admirable . Its after they restored power that this blog will address. I’ve been on my local fire department for 25
years, I’ve handled my share of emergencies and worked closely with the power company in the past, so I have a little
insight into how they operate. If you call during what they deem an “emergency” or storm the first question they
will ask is “Is it on fire” that gets a response, the second question is “do you have power” Its the
answer to that question that causes the problems and exposes the power company’s true priorities. The only number ever
published in the press, the only number the politicians look at, it the number of people without power.
I am not going into how long I didn’t have power, that is not an issue, I will start with the day power
was restored. Understandably @JCP_L employed local contractors to assist in restoring power to peoples homes. In my case it
was Allan Briteway Electrical Contractors, Inc. from Whippany.In talking to them, they are pressured by @JCP_L to complete
the hookups as quickly as possible, corner cutting is encouraged. Remember the only thing that counts to them is “do
you have power‘
Well it turns out that the crew that hooked up my house and my neighbors
did a sloppy job and caused further issues. How did I find out about this you may ask? Four days AFTER my power was “restored”
I hear two guys shouting and arguing on my front lawn. Guess who they were? A @JCP_L crew my neighbor had called to
correct a problem they discovered. To say the crew was unprofessional was an understatement to say they were violent and abusive
would be more accurate. At no time did they address me or contact me that the lights would be going out again. They were to
busy screaming at each other. What was the problem? Was it addressed? I have no idea at all, again all the @JCP_L line crew
was interested in was arguing getting the power back on. Not if it was safe or correct, just on.
is where the fun starts. My wife called @JCP&L to find out what was wrong, if it was fixed and to report the abusive crew.
Thats when nothing happened. Again remember, as long as your lights are on, they do not care what other issues you may have.
I spoke to Darlene and Walt in their West Virginia call center and.......nothing. I finally got the idea to try twitter.
It took me a while to think of it, but eventually I remembered Kevin Smith. A few nasty tweets and I have an almost instant
response from LOCAL employees not the useless West Virginia call center. The potentially dangerous situation on my house was
finally rectified, a week AFTER it was created but I am still waiting on a resolution to the reason why the case didn’t
make it past Darlene and Walt and what is going to happen to the abusive, violent crew.
On a side note when I contacted Allan Briteway Electrical Contractors, Inc., a local company I had a response in 4 minutes
(not 4 days) and a representative at my house in under an hour. His excuse, as mentioned previously is @JCP_L pressures them
to work fast and that they usually come out to “clean things up”
So just remember, if you
have power don’t hold your breath for @JCP_L to get back to you, and their West Virginia call center is a complete waste
of time and breath. Twitter to the rescue!!!