Sleep Well Kim Jong Un. There Should Be No Reason. Five Stripes and the Hawks.

Détente, Maybe Not.  Thirteen Is Not Enough.  ATL UTD and the Hawks.

Carrier Strike Group 1 (CSG1) was deployed to the Korean peninsula last week to start joint naval exercises with Japan and South Korea.  On Friday, after North Korea test-fired another missile, CSG1 entered the Korean Strait.  CSG1 is the support group that includes the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a crew of 5,700.  The firepower of the USS Vinson consists of surface-to-air missiles and various anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems.  Along with this onboard armament, the Carl Vinson has 90 aircraft that can be deployed on demand. The support group responsible for the safety of the $8B aircraft carrier includes a nuclear-powered attack submarine and various destroyers and frigates.  It is inevitable that North Korea’s very young ‘leader’ will challenge the presence of CSG1 and continue to provoke and threaten the U.S. naval forces now parked within striking distance of Pyongyang.  China, of all countries, is trying to play peacemaker between North Korea and our pacific rim allies but if Kim Jong Un continues his nuclear threats China will need to back off when the combined forces of the U.S., South Korea, and Japan strike North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure.  It is time to send a message.  Bombs away.

Always the supportive one (no coughing please), I agreed to binge watch a Netflix program on a rainy night in Blue Ridge.  Thirteen Reasons Why is not exactly the programming I fancy but I got stuck in on the couch to take in a very provocative thirteen-part series.  My takeaways:  social media never relents and keeps our youth informed 24/7 with the good, the bad and the ugly; school bullying has taken on a different tact with the use of twitter, text messaging, instagram and snapchat; parents are or can be very ‘disengaged’ with their kids for many reasons.   I will not suggest that you watch Thirteen Reasons Why but if you have kids that attend middle or high school it might be a good idea to watch this Netflix series.  More specifically, I strongly recommend you watch the series if you are the parents who take your kids to a restaurant and allow them to use their phones or tablets at the table.  And you know exactly what I am referring to.

They are back!  Atlanta United, after four weeks on the road, play later today at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  The game is sold out and the crowd should be crazy and loud after not seeing The Five Stripes for the last month.

The Hawks ended their season last night with a playoff loss to Washington.  There are some great pieces to the Hawks’ player pool but look for some big changes for next season.

Have a Funday Sunday!!!

Fox Does Right Wrong. Impact On The Inaugural Season.

Billy Gets Huge Golden Parachute.   I Would Watch United At Northside H.S.  Random Thoughts.

If you look at Bill O’Reilly’s ‘walkaway’ payout from a pure business perspective it is still ridiculous.  Then you learn about the backstories and his purported ongoing sexual harassment of his co-workers. You then realize that his former boss, Roger Ailes, allowed and was involved in creating the toxic culture within Fox News, where women were constantly antagonized and harassed.  Yes, I realize that Billy’s nightly show brought in massive revenue to Fox News, but if I was the one accused of this behavior in one of former workplaces I would have been shown the door immediately without recourse.  Bill O’Reilly leaves Fox News to finish his new book and continue his tour….and with $25m in goodbye money.  Read his new book?  No.  Go see him on tour?  Hell no.

Over the last few weeks I have been a bit over the top about the Mercedes Benz stadium situation and pending delays.  I suspected that the delays would continue (can you say architect bait and switch?) and it bothered me for only one reason.  The delay impacts Atlanta United’s schedule and as supporters, we should now be very concerned that the schedule changes could impact United’s chances of reaching the playoffs.  The reality of the stadium issues and scheduling changes will not play favor to United due to the World Cup qualifying matches in September.  National teams will call in their players from the Clubs they play on and the Clubs must release them for these matches. This means that up to five United players may be unavailable for three late season games to fulfill their national team duties.  Darren Eales, Carlos Bocanegra, and Tata Martino have done a tremendous job building United’s squad and it is very unfortunate that the stadium issue, pending schedule changes, and world cup qualifying commitments could be obstacles to reaching the playoff round.

Top of mind thoughts: 

Dylan Roof finally was moved to a federal penitentiary in Indiana and is on death row.  Yes, the Dylan Roof who told the FBI that he wanted to start a race war so he decided to kill thirteen churchgoers in Charleston.  Anyway to expedite the death row process?

The 2017 NFL schedule is out and the Atlanta Falcons have again been dealt of a tough run of games that includes a rematch of the Super Bowl and the New England Patriots.  It should be a fun season as the play nationally televised games on two Monday nights and one each on a Sunday and Thursday night.  The NFL draft is this Thursday and here’s to hoping Dan Quinn finds a couple of diamonds in the rough.

The bad news for Elon Musk is that he paid $593m in 2016 income taxes.  The good news for Elon Musk is that he paid $593m in 2016 income taxes.  🙂

Atlanta United’s very tough run of fun straight road games is finally over with last night’s win at Real Salt Lake.  They will be home in front of another sold out Bobby Dodd stadium next Sunday at 3pm.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!


MOAB. Hawks Long Season. Airline Drama. A Random Thought.

Mother of All Bombs.  The NBA is a Tough Go.  The $5m Re-AccommodationIncentive Compensation.

It was directed at an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan.  “It” is a MOAB, the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever developed, weighing 21,600 lbs. The MOAB, the “Mother of All Bombs”, is officially called the GBU-43/B and was first tested 17 years ago.  The MOAB creates a devastating impact zone a mile-wide and has to be carried and deployed by a C-130 cargo plane.  The Pentagon said that last week’s use of the MOAB was not in response to one of our soldiers being killed in Afghanistan but a direct attack on an ISIS stronghold.   I don’t have a clue of how many MOABs we have in our arsenal but I guess the message to ISIS was delivered.  More importantly, the world, including Kim Jong-un, witnessed first-hand the MOAB’s ability to wipe out one-square mile at a time.  For me, Pyongyang looks like another good test site.

The Atlanta Hawks, led by CEO Steve Koonin, overcame a very long season and untimely injuries to again make the NBA playoffs.  Eighty-two regular season games can take a toll on the players, coaches and staff and these Hawks, with their backs against the wall, went on a timely winning streak at the end of the regular season.  Two weeks ago the season went to hell with two losses against a terrible Brooklyn team. Then, with some lineup changes and Paul Millsap returning from injury the Hawks turned the season around by beating Boston and then Lebron and the Cavs. Maddening inconsistent but it seems like the Hawks have come together and are peaking at the right time.  Later today, the Hawks and Wizards open up their playoff series in D.C.  TNT has the game at 1pm.

Last week’s United Airlines debacle should not have been worldwide news.  There are daily passenger issues and disturbances that are usually handled in a calm and professional manner.  In last Sunday’s incident all parties handled the situation poorly resulting in a passenger being manhandled out their seat and dragged off the plane.  The first issue is United Airlines’ policy and protocol for “re-accommodating” passengers. Second, the passenger should have complied when ordered off the plane.  And the third and most important issue, the Chicago Aviation Police, who obviously felt it necessary to remove the passenger in a manner that resulted in a broken nose and broken teeth.  Yes, I realize that the passenger should have obliged the request to leave his seat and get off the plane but the end result was ridiculous.  To top things off, Oscar Munoz, United Airlines’ CEO, quickly tweeted after the incident and his message was absurd. His PR blunder and the viral outreach of video from the incident resulted in United Airlines’ market cap dropping by $700m.  The passenger’s attorneys are positioning the incident for a massive lawsuit that United, to mitigate anymore negative publicity, will settle out of court.  Most pundits guess a payout to the passenger between $3-$5m.  Weird from hell.

Random Thought:  Incentive compensation works – the I-85 repairs will be completed very quickly due to a $3.5m bonus for hitting a mid-June target.  Atlanta United has now played three straight games on the road with one more before they play at home on April 30…….speaking of incentive compensation, maybe it is time for Mr. Blank’s organization to dangle a big bonus carrot to the Mercedes Benz stadium contractors to hit the early July completion date (yes, early July as it will take 20-30 days for security, vendor, and staff training).  Fingers crossed that United does play in the Mercedes Benz on July 30.

Have a Funday Sunday and Happy Easter!



The Week in Review.

Some Of The Week’s Highlights (or Lowlights).

Trump signed the Bill allowing your internet service provider to sell your info to advertisers.  Info including your location, browsing history, etc.  Nothing good will come from this.

Why is Tony Romo retiring from the NFL and going into the broadcast booth big news?  The Masters withstanding, it must have been a slow sports week.

Speaking of The Masters, the tournament started off with terrible weather and the world’s #1 player withdrawing.  Then the weather and the final round made for a great Sunday.  CBS’ production and broadcast talent deliver The Masters in a compelling, story-telling way.  Yesterday’s finish  was a good as last year’s Jordan Spieth debacle.

Assad, the Syrian rebels, the Russians, the Americans, and ISIS – other than the Americans and ISIS it is really difficult to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Atlanta Hawks have gone through a very tough spell with some injuries and hard luck.  Sometimes this period of a season results in a team coming together and peaking for the playoffs.  Yesterday’s incredible comeback versus LeBron and the Cavs may be a sign that the Hawks could be a big factor in the post-season.

Amazon accounted for 53 percent of e-commerce sales growth last year and the online giant continues to take a toll on bricks and mortar stores.  Bankruptcy filings and store closings are surging and it is estimated that 6,800 retail locations will close by year-end.

The DVR’s will be on for this week’s quarterfinals of the Champions League.  The club making it through to the Final and being crowned champion could earn over $125m.  Crazy.

Atlanta United has now played two of the four consecutive road games they are forced to play due to the Mercedes Benz delays and Georgia Tech’s football team needing Bobby Dodd stadium for spring practice.  These road games were against last year’s MLS champion and runner-up and without United’s leading scorer.  ‘Tata’ Martinez has a tough group of players to come away with a point from each game.  This Saturday’s game is in Montreal at 1pm.

I have complained numerous times about the sound quality of my flat screen TV.  Most of my bitching comes from hearing the background music but not clearly understanding the spoken words.  I finally eliminated the problem with some Bose speakers.  Inexpensive fix and big audio difference.

Dining on the radar.  Try Milton’s, the new Muss & Turner’s, South on Main, Amalfi, and Camp’s.

Adios and have a great week!



And We Pay Big $ For Our ISP. Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

But I Hit the Private Button!   The I-85 Six Flags Ride.  1st Sunday.

The good news is we have internet service.  The bad news is that our internet service providers (Verizon, Comcast, Charter, etc.) again get to sell your information without your knowledge or approval.  Oh, I know, we all have nothing to hide so what is the big deal?  The deal is that the FCC, understanding points of privacy, fought very hard to ensure that our information could not be sold by ISP’s to advertisers without prior consent.  Information like your location, browsing history, and other data no one would want socialized for any purpose or reason. Browsing in “incognito” or private mode does not prevent your internet provider from knowing which sites you visit. Private mode only prevents the browser you are using from storing your internet history. For example, Comcast will still know when you view healthcare or adult content, even if Chrome forgets. There are very technical ways to help control your web browsing, including the use of a virtual private network (VPN), but my tech friends tell me that many VPN providers do not live up to their privacy promises. As the famous beer man says: “Be careful out there my friends…”.

A lot of jokes going around regarding the I-85 bridge collapse just northeast of downtown Atlanta.  Some of them are relatively creative and funny.  What is not so funny?  Over 200,000 cars a day used I-85 and now that traffic will be diverted to surface streets and other roadways.  Atlanta’s traffic situation has escalated to a severe level over that last ten years and the city’s growth, fueled by a diverse economy, has doubled in population over the last twenty years.  During the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Atlanta and it’s surrounding counties accounted for approximately 3 million people.  Today, that number is over 6 million.  A lot of things will come from this incident including regulations on materials stored under interstates, but for the five-month foreseeable future, the area surrounding I-85 at Piedmont Road will be one to avoid.  Kudos to all the first responders and DOT personnel for controlling the situation early on.  How no one was killed or injured is a true miracle.

Thoughts for the 1st Sunday in April:  Atlanta United has now played one of four consecutive games on the road…here is to hoping the Mercedes Benz Stadium time line stays solid for the July 30 opening.  It is baseball season…..SunTrust Park looks really nice.  Well done Bruce Arena….you stepped into a tenuous situation with our national team and now have us back on track to qualify for Russia in 2018.  Anyone want to explain to me why and how Dylan Roof is still alive?  The word collusion and a quarterback named Colin Kaepernick have no correlation.  The restaurant business is very tough…..success is difficult to achieve day in and day out but good food, great service and a management team that really does care make a huge difference……go try Muss & Turner’s in East Cobb.  Melissa McCarthy is a much better Sean Spicer than Sean Spicer.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!!