Spectrum Connection: August 2020

From the desk of Dave Smalley: Why Not Me?

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Hours go by.  Days turn into weeks.  Weeks into months. This is 2020, trudging along…slowly. 2020 came up on my Yelp account, I gave it NO stars. Ha, just joking.

Here we are, already in August, and one thing that the pandemic HAS NOT affected is our ability of self -determination. It may have altered where we can go, but it does not control who we are or what we stand for. Many choices have been made for us by the pandemic, but we are still the determining factor as to how we live our lives.

When we look at what is not available to us, it is easy to ask “why me?”. We need to think about that question, why me. How about “Why not me?” That question provokes a couple of different paths to the answer than why me. Why can’t it be me? Why choose anyone else but me? Who else is better, more ready than me? Why not me?!

Think about who decides how high one can jump, how far or how fast one can run, how kind one can be? Clearly there is only one answer. I decide. I control me. I make the decisions that affect me. It is my will that determines my performance and my fate. It is you! Solely you that decides you high, how far, how fast, how deep, how happy, how sad, how much…you.  We know we must have a commitment to get the results we desire. It goes back, once again, to making a committed choice.

We must commit to the task, commit to the effort, not to just the result. By committing to the task and the effort, the result will take care of itself. It is the commitment to the journey and how we journey that is the difference-maker, not the result.

were yesterday. We challenge our old self, we defeat our old self, and we crown our new self the champion. And we fleetingly remain the champion until that moment we find ourselves faced with the fact that I can do better. And who decides that? YOU DO! And we crown ourselves a new champion.

It is our commitment and our committed choice to continually strive to be the better version of ourselves that brings honor, not only to ourselves but to our families as well. Do we owe it to our children, our parents, our spouses, to decide and commit to being a better person? You know the answer. Do we owe it to ourselves? You bet.

I ask you to go out each day and decide to go higher, go faster, go harder, go deeper. To shed the old you, the yesterday you, and be a better person today and even better tomorrow. Use your determination to drive yourself through any doubts you face. Why not me? You are strong and we are together. And together, even six feet apart, we can defeat all challenges with our committed will.

Stay safe, know you are loved and appreciated.

With GREAT Respect,

Dave Smalley


From the desk of Melanie Smalley.

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Many of you have heard me say “don’t borrow trouble.”  My mom often said that to me when I would become overly anxious or worried about something that was more than likely out of my control.  Why waste time and energy worrying about something that I cannot influence?  Good point and good advice; advice not only that she still gives but I give too.   

It seems there is so much rhetoric in the news and media these days.  From the obvious COVID updates to industry updates on social media – what to believe, what to think, how to feel, how to plan – so many unknowns are in play.  When something like this comes across my computer, I have to remind myself “not to borrow trouble” and to take most things with a grain of salt.  There are not any definitive answers, just people surmising what the outcome could look like.  I’m not saying they are wrong but I’m surely not saying they are right.


This is also a great time to remind ourselves and each other, “how do we eat an elephant”?  Desmond Tutu once wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” What he meant by this is that everything in life that seems daunting, overwhelming, and even impossible can be accomplished gradually by taking on just a little at a time.

Stand together, communicate, share industry knowledge, keep ourselves educated, and remember to do what we can to stay busy.  Please check in on one other.  Pick up the phone, send a text, set a Zoom call, check out the House Party free app – some face time is a great way to reconnect with your Spectrum family.

My friend Barry said we must peek out from under the blanket and take positive steps. Don’t be suffocated by the circumstances. We don’t know when, but there will be an end to this, and we will get there!

Thinking of and praying for us all.

Love, Mel


Wicked Whisk

Sutton Event


Here is an article published by USA TODAY that we thought you might enjoy!

100 things that bring us joy during the coronavirus pandemic:


  1. Nabbing a pack of toilet paper at the grocery store.
  2. DJ DNices epic Instagram Live parties.
  3. A White Claw hidden in the back of your fridge.
  4. A toy that keeps your kid entertained for longer than five minutes.
  5. A toy that occupies your dog for longer than five minutes.
  6. Dua Lipa releasing her album a week early.
  7. Because it’s time to go back to Hogwarts: A “Harry Potter” movie marathon.
  8. Walking my dog went from sometimes a chore to unbridled joy.
  9. Low-key enjoying wearing pajamas almost every day.
  10. My teenager has to hang out with me.
  11. Cooking something new.
  12. Going fishing and pimping out your house in Animal Crossing.
  13. Watching Ina Garten make a supersized Quarantine Cosmo.
  14. Finding a great new show to binge on Netflix (or your preferred streaming service).
  15. Being able to do one more rep in an exercise during your workout.
  16. A sunny day!
  17. Watching music producers battle over who has the best hits on Instagram Live.
  18. A homemade charcuterie board paired with your favorite wine.
  19. Virtual game nights playing Cards Against Humanity — sorry, Remote Insensitivity — with the other delightfully horrible friends you used to play in person with.
  20. Video chat happy hours with friends, family or colleagues.
  21. Seeing how happy your dog is to have you home 24/7.
  22. Ordering takeout from your favorite restaurant and it’s still just as delicious.
  23. Finally watching all those hot TV shows that came and went … and you somehow never saw (Hello, “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones”!).
  24. Discovering you actually really like the expensive lotion/cute socks/exotic coffee beans you got for Christmas but hadn’t tried yet.
  25. Making pour-over coffee. Putting frothed milk on top of it. Sipping with eyes closed.
  26. Drinking said coffee in bed.
  27. Realizing you don’t need to stress about your messy house because no one is coming over anyway.
  28. Creating a happy family on “The Sims” who aren’t afraid of being near each other.
  29. Exploring local neighborhoods and checking out all the beautiful spring flowers.
  30. Two words (one word?):
  31. Watching your kid do something creative to combat boredom and realizing just how special they are.
  32. The feeling of accomplishment when you see a seed sprout from the garden you finally started.
  33. Having dinner at a normal time because everyone is already home when work is over.
  34. Finding a meme that speaks to you and sending it to everyone you know.
  35. Stress baking even though you’re not good at baking and having it turn out amazingly tasty.
  36. Teaching your grandparents how to FaceTime and seeing them smile when they see you.
  37. Finally hanging that wall art that’s been sitting in the closet since forever.
  38. Catching up on sleep.
  39. Re-reading your favorite book.
  40. Watching ’80s movies and cringing at/rejoicing in all the jelly bracelets, neon tees and crimped hair.
  41. Not having to put on makeup every day.
  42. Not having to shave.
  43. All the money you’re saving on gas.
  44. Taking guitar lessons from James Bay.
  45. The shortened commute, because from bed to computer is a much easier daily trek.
  46. When your kid’s nap is at the same time as your work conference call.
  47. Finding an ingredient you need for a new recipe at the back of your pantry, meaning you don’t have to go outside and can still chef it up.
  48. When everyone’s technology works on the Zoom call.
  49. Debating Tiger Kingtheories with your friends.
  50. Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks performing Amazing Grace.
  51. Your boss admitting the whole work-from-home thing isn’t so bad and would be an option when the world is back to “normal.”
  52. Making the perfect playlist of cheerful songs.
  53. Finishing a 1,000-piece puzzle!
  54. Movies going to streaming services early like Onward and Trolls World Tour.
  55. Extra time with your kids. (It’s bittersweet.)
  56. Restaurants offering takeout wine, beer and margaritas with your meal.
  57. Seeing any other human outside of your family, even from a distance *waves way too enthusiastically at neighbors.*
  58. Getting literally any time slot for grocery pick-up or delivery.
  59. Seeing your co-workers’ cute kids and pets.
  60. Mowing the lawn. (When did this become fun?)
  61. Washing your car. (Really, when’s the last time you did that?)
  62. Kicking your spouse’s butt in Skip Bo, Uno or Yahtzee.
  63. Excessive cleaning leads to a fresh-smelling house.
  64. Taking your laptop outside and working on the patio.
  65. Watching a toddler play with bubbles. Oh, the pure delight.
  66. Walking by cute chalk art on the sidewalk.
  67. Tumblers that keep coffee hot for hours.
  68. Going on a teddy bear hunt in your neighborhood.
  69. Putting the kids to bed.
  70. John Krasinskis Some Good NewsYouTube show.
  71. Rewatching old standup comedy and SNL skits.
  72. Seeing posts about people getting engaged and having babies. Good things are still happening every day.
  73. Browsing eBay but having the discipline (fear) to not buy anything; paying down my PayPal account.
  74. Finishing a long book, at last.
  75. Everyone’s sourdough bread on Instagram.
  76. Putting moisturizer on your dry, wellwashed hands.
  77. Making a donation to a mutual aid fund.
  78. Watching my dogs dream while I’m on a conference call.
  79. Listening to (eavesdropping on?) my husband while he’s on Zoom meetings.
  80. Andrew Cuomos rock-star pandemic press conferences.
  81. Getting to the bottom of the laundry basket.
  82. Businesses sharing their secret recipes so we can make them at home. I see you, Disneyland Dole Whip, DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies and Cheesecake Factory Cajun jambalaya pasta.
  83. Kicking a soccer ball with your friends in the street like you’re back in middle school.
  84. Going old school and mailing letters to family (with cute stamps).
  85. Putting together your own at-home paint-and-sip class.
  86. Spending an immense amount of time to make a video game avatar and then celebrating the fact that it looks just like you. Look at the mouth shape!
  87. Getting just a bit better at painting the nails on your dominant hand.
  88. Wearing fuzzy socks all day and never worrying that they won’t fit into your shoes, because you don’t put on shoes.
  89. Walking through my neighborhood and giving my friends real estate tours on Marco Polo.
  90. Bluetooth headphones that connect to my kid’s tablet. The Wiggles are great but I just. can’t. anymore.
  91. Warm crusty bread (that I didn’t bake but you know, still warm).
  92. Putting wine in a to-go cup as part of my evening stroll.
  93. My always-smiling grocery store star Michael’s joyful YouTube channel, Michaels Best Life Ever, where hes always smiling.
  94. Waking up and realizing that feeling healthy is the greatest gift.
  95. Getting a working thermometer delivered.
  96. Finding peanut M&M’s in the back of my cupboard that survived past snack patrols.
  97. When my grandmother calls! And tells me what she’s watching on Netflix. (The latest is
  98. Planning a surprise Zoom birthday party for my mom with relatives around the globe.
  99. Remembering “Insecure” is back.
  100. Hugging your kid, your spouse, your roommate – whoever you’re quarantined with.


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