THE DEFENSE REPORT
LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM ‘ INDEPENDENCE DAY ’ ‘WE WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT’
Before director Roland Emmerich released “Independence Day” in 1996, there hadn’t been a new disaster movie in quite some time, and bringing in aliens as the catastrophic threat would be completely new. Partially responsible for the large- scale disaster film and sci-fi resurgence in the 1990s, there are many reasons why “Independence Day” became a significant turning point in the history of the Hollywood blockbuster. But, for Americans, it meant a little bit more than just another disaster movie; it symbolized how the American spirit looked and felt before 9/11. Emmerich has said that just after “Independence Day” came out, Steven Spielberg told him: “What you guys have done with that film, everybody will imitate you.” Looking at Marvel movies, it appears that Spielberg was right. Alien invasions, things getting broken, the movies not taking themselves too seriously — these all feel like common elements to a good sci-fi blockbuster these days. But how has a sci-fi movie shaped our understanding of the American spirit? When many people look back at “Independence Day,” or play it on the Fourth of July as their family tradition, there’s one scene that’s particularly moving and influential: the president’s speech to the
facing the overwhelming odds of human annihilation, the president acknowledges the symbolism of the date: “And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, ‘We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!’” It paints a clear picture of experiencing patriotism as a strong fighting spirit. These days, though, we don’t have aliens to fight against, and the ideas behind patriotism are a lot more complicated. Our threats feel a lot more confusing and personal with a pandemic. But in many ways, the president’s speech from “Independence Day” reminds me of another quote from a real president, John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” We’ve never dealt with a threat that required us to stay vigilant at night or, really, all hours of the day at home. The best way to “not go quietly into the night” is to ask how we can fight the good fight, even as the country begins reopening and starts healing its wounds from this pandemic. When 9/11 came around, Americans felt something in common: a deep, lingering pain. In some ways, the groundbreaking sci-fi and world-altering elements of “Independence Day” became therapeutic during 9/11 because we knew our world had changed forever.
We also wanted to help one another, no matter how. This pandemic, too, has changed our world forever. Although “Independence Day” was created too soon to understand the future American issues that’d make some people feel complicated or distraught about their patriotism, I think it’s safe to say the pandemic has given people a better opportunity than ever before to reach out and fight for the well-being of their communities. With our heart in the right place, it doesn’t take a lot to make a difference, either. Here’s a fun fact about the film: The president’s speech was written in 15 minutes without any time for redrafting. Sometimes, the best results come from putting in a lot of effort at the right time and place, even if it doesn’t require much of your time. We just have to stay aware and keep looking for an opportunity to help others. So, donate to a food bank, contribute some fireworks for the neighborhood, leave your neighbor a card with your number asking if they need anything, or just wave at a stranger. A little camaraderie can lighten everyone’s
burdens, including our own. Have a fantastic July, friends.
crowd of people aiding them in the upcoming alien assault. In the middle of the night, while
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HOW WELL ARE YOU TRACKING YOUR BUSINESS?
In the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses across the country to tighten their belts. Odds are your company is among them, but even if you’re doing well, accurately tracking your business’s performance is more vital than ever. Of course, this is easier said than done. Even in good times, it’s difficult to know which key performance indicators (KPIs) to track daily, weekly, or monthly to get an accurate picture of how your business is doing. However, many successful entrepreneurs report that three KPIs rise to the top: churn, pipeline revenue, and average annual revenue per employee. CHURN This metric will tell you how many customers leave your business in any given month, which will then tell you how many new customers you need to bring in the following month to break even. If you track this KPI weekly and monthly, patterns will start to emerge, and you’ll be able to find holes in your systems and processes more
easily. Then, you can take proactive steps to reduce your churn.
hire, depending on the industry. The higher your RPE, the more effective your business is at maximizing its greatest resource: the people who work there. This number can become skewed or decrease if you’re growing quickly and hiring or if you’ve recently laid off staff. If you haven’t made changes and your RPE is under $100,000, you’re either overstaffed or facing a struggle ahead. As you’re tracking these KPIs, remember to be skeptical. If a metric looks too good to be true, it probably is! So dig in and double- check the math. If you uncover an inaccuracy, you can take steps to fix it, and if you find the number is accurate, you can learn from your successes. Armed with these metrics, you will be in a much better spot to be proactive in your business and solve minor problems before they ruin your month, quarter, or year. It’s a win-win situation, which is exactly what we need in these tough times!
PIPELINE REVENUE Your pipeline revenue is the total sales volume you’d have if you won each and every piece of business you quoted over a given period of time. When compared with your actual sales volume each month, it becomes an incredibly valuable number for setting goals and tracking. For example, if you need to produce $100,000 in new pipeline revenue to close your goal of $30,000 in sales each month but are only at $54,000 in pipeline revenue 20 days into the month when you should be at $67,000, then you’ll know that you’re falling behind and need to make adjustments. AVERAGE ANNUAL REVENUE PER EMPLOYEE (RPE) Most companies with over $1 million in revenue make a minimum of $100,000 in average annual RPE, and it’s not uncommon to see small businesses making $125,000, $150,000, or $200,000-plus per
Getting a DUI —While Using a Lawnmower?
AND THE REASONING BEHIND UNUSUAL DUI CIRCUMSTANCES In 2008 in Columbus, Ohio, Jeff Brown was arrested and convicted of a DUI while walking a bicycle across his own front lawn. Initially, the police officer was citing him for not having a headlight on the bike until he mentioned that Brown had the scent of alcohol in his breath. Brown was, understandably, shocked — however, refusing a Breathalyzer test subjected him to being convicted of drunk driving with four days in jail, a six-month driver’s license suspension, and a criminal record. Most police officers may not prioritize civilians walking their bikes to request Breathalyzer tests, but that doesn’t mean it’s never happened. The only reason police have ever been allowed to do this is because many DUI laws don’t specify directly that its rules are applicable only to cars . It says “motor vehicles,” and the most statutory definition of
a motor vehicle is any vehicle that is “self- propelled,” including a rideable lawn mower. For example, in Oklahoma, a man has been arrested for riding his mower up and down the street at 12:30 a.m. Police described the man as “very intoxicated” before arresting him for driving under the influence. Other vehicles that can count for a DUI include snowmobiles, golf carts, and horses or horse-drawn carriages. The best thing you can do is remember that drinking and using any self-propelled vehicle can put you at risk for a DUI. So, take the safest way home: Walk or take a ride-share service. But if you’ve found yourself in a nonautomobile DUI case, the laws can feel tricky to navigate — that’s why you want Georgia’s top DUI experts on your side. Call us today for a free consultation at 404-467-1747.
If you’ve been in the house for a few weeks, you might be thinking about biking to a nearby bar, catching a few drinks, and carefully walking your bike home. However, there’s a chance you could get a DUI for that.
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AFFORDABLE, SAFE WAYS TO CELEBRATE FOURTH OF JULY
LAUGH IT OFF
Georgia has been opening up for the past several weeks, but you may still be wary of huge gatherings for the time being and opt to stay in with just your household. However, even if you can’t dine in at all your favorite restaurants, you can celebrate the Fourth of July in many ways this year that won’t cost you a ton of money and keep everyone at home. Here are our tips for a fun, affordable, and safe celebration this year that feels just as patriotic as all the years before. NO. 1: HAVE AN AMERICAN-THEMED WATER-BALLOON FIGHT Besides a barbecue, many other backyard activities don’t require much investment to enjoy and are perfectly safe for your household. Fill some red, white, and blue balloons with water, and everyone can get involved with your patriotic-themed balloon fight. You could set up some obstacles to hide behind, too, if you’d like an all-out war experience. NO. 2: CELEBRATE WITH SPARKLERS Not only are sparklers affordable, but they’re beautiful in the late afternoon and night. Kids and adults should be wary not to cause injuries since they can burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s safest to dunk them in water before you toss them in the trash can and, of course, keep them away from other fireworks (if you have any lying around). NO. 3: VOLUNTEER TO HELP A LOCAL CAUSE Whether it’s just you or the family, plenty of local efforts could likely use some volunteers. Check out your local Facebook groups and the American Red Cross Association for nearby opportunities. There’s also nothing wrong with helping your parents or a family friend first — if there’s a family member, friend, or neighbor who needs a few favors, your Fourth of July could be well-spent by helping them out. From making masks to dropping off someone’s groceries, there are many ways to express to the people in your life and beyond that you care. This Fourth of July will feel different for the whole country. That’s why it’s good to remember the little things we love most about the holiday and try to make the best out of it. From everyone at Yeargan & Kurt, we hope you have an awesome Fourth of July!
THE BEST GRILLED SUMMER VEGETABLES
INGREDIENTS • 1 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp pepper • 1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning • 1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced • 2 lbs assorted vegetables, trimmed and halved (asparagus, mushrooms, red onion, red bell
peppers, baby carrots, and yellow squash are great on the grill)
• 5 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp lemon juice • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
DIRECTIONS 1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic. 2. Brush vegetables with olive oil and place in a large bowl. Top with lemon juice and seasoning mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes but no longer than 2 hours. 3. Prepare the grill at medium-high heat. 4. Grill vegetables in batches, cooking 3–5 minutes on each side until browned and tender. (Carrots will cook longer, 6–9 minutes per side.) 5. Remove from the grill, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.
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Lessons We Can Learn From ‘Independence Day’
Are You Tracking the Right Metrics? Getting a DUI — While Using a Lawnmower? Affordable, Safe Ways to Celebrate Fourth of July The Secret to Delicious Grilled Veggies
Planning a Family Entertainment Room
MAKE YOUR GAME NIGHTS EXTRA SPECIAL
WITH A FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT ROOM
Families around the world are finding new ways to spend time with each other, and their homes are changing accordingly. Whether your family members are video gamers, movie enthusiasts, or board game fans, everyone can benefit from having a dedicated entertainment room. Here are some tips for putting one together. USE YOUR SPACE WISELY. Consider the advantages and challenges of your available space. You don’t want small spaces to feel cramped, and you don’t want large spaces to feel empty. If your room is small, then design the space to serve multiple purposes, like installing a bar with a TV on the opposite wall. If your room is large, then why not have two or more TVs to let visitors play multiple games or watch different shows? A projector can also be used to maximize a room’s space. It allows you and your guests to utilize an entire wall without requiring much physical space. SET UP SURROUND SOUND. Whether you’re using your entertainment room for movies, music, video games, or all of the above, investing in high-quality speakers will pay off instantly. You can set them up around the room for clearer, more immersive sound for movies and games, and by spacing out each speaker, you can eliminate cord clutter and tangle.
SOUNDPROOF YOUR SPACE. Trying to impress your guests with great sound doesn’t mean that your entire neighborhood has to hear what you’re watching! Soundproofing not only helps shield your neighbors from action game explosions and booming movie scores, but it also improves the sound quality in the room. Thick curtains and carpets, wall-mounted foam panels, or freestanding acoustic panels work for basic soundproofing, but if you plan to utilize your space every day and night, then consider hiring a contractor to help estimate materials and cost for a more sophisticated soundproof space. HAVE GREAT LIGHTING. There’s nothing more inviting than a well-lit space, and this also applies to your entertainment room. Whether you’re playing a board game or putting together puzzles with the whole family, mood lighting can make the experience feel even more cozy and special. Try experimenting with different, stylish lamps or overhead fixtures to light up your space.
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