Short Takes.

Let’s Not Ever Forget. Is It Currency?  Saturday Night Fever.  Grow Up.  Mars Anyone?  The China Syndrome.

Friday was the anniversary of a day the U.S. will never forget. Seventy-seven years ago, at 7:55 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, a Japanese force of 183 airplanes attacked U.S. forces on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands.  The worst of wake up calls for the United States Armed Forces and specifically the United States Navy.  That’s why we should fly the Flag on these days of remembrance….to never forget.

I have little to no knowledge of crypto-currencies.  I understand the general concept of trading monetary value without the intermediary bank or financial institution.  What I do not understand is the governance of Bitcoin or other crypto-currencies.  While the Federal Reserve’s decisions may not be spot on all the time, the thought of no governance with a currency is a bit unnerving.  Last week, Bitcoin value dropped 80% year over year.  Call me crazy….but that IS CRAZY.

Over 73,000 fans witnessed #AtlantaUnited in last night’s Major League Soccer Championship game. The Club and it’s plan and strategy started way longer than two years ago after a tremendous amount of groundwork and strategy that has been executed extremely well by the Atlanta United staff.  United brought home the silverware last night beating a very good Portland team 2-0.  The City of Atlanta should be incredibly grateful to Mr. Blank and his staff.  The strategy to birth a Major League Soccer team was well conceived and came with a bit of risk. The Club, through it’s grassroots marketing tactics, the capital outlay to build a world class stadium, the fantastic training grounds, and the right combination of player pool, has united the City of Atlanta like never before.  The Five Stripes will lose their manager, their top player, and a few more players who will not be resigned or lost to the expansion draft, but you have to feel confident that Mr. Blank’s directive of sustainability will keep this Club, and it’s supporters, engaged year after year for a very long time.

Kevin Hart.  Outstanding stand-up comedian.  A star of many movies.  Funny without even trying.  And a bigoted homophobic who needs to grow up quickly.  Uncalled for, sad, as your tweets must be representative of your character.  

The mission’s cost is over $1B.  It took six months to get there, traveling 100 million miles.  The ultimate goal of this exploration of Mars is to determine and measure similarities to Earth, specifically to figure out how both planets evolved.  Though this mission was funded by NASA, the privatization of space exploration is here and here to stay.  With my creative team, I am charged with providing NASA and Kennedy Space Center with a look at what a “SpacePort” will look like in the future.  The long term thinking from Kennedy Space Center and NASA is that NASA, in the not too distant future, will become the ‘new’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  NASA will govern the private space flight companies (SpaceX, Blue Origin, etc) and how manned flights into space are scheduled and monitored.  This thinking may seem a bit futuristic but it is moving fast with a watchful eye from NASA.  This post goes to many creative and smart people.  I could use some forward thinking on this project from all of you.

We have heard it all before.  “I took all my money and it’s stashed under my bed”.  “I go to Las Vegas monthly and win every time”. Well, after last  week’s Dow Jones debacle those statements are no longer ridiculous.  The Chinese, the trade agreements and posturing.  No es bueno.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!!  And Thank You Atlanta United.

Cease Fire. The Silverware.

And I Thought I Understood.  This Will Be Different.  

I have a strict rule with religion and politics.  I don’t like to discuss or comment on either for many reasons.  So I will stay the course explaining the lesson of real life we experienced in Northern Ireland.  Sure, I was aware of the conflict as more than often me and my father watched Walter Cronkite or John Chancellor on the nightly news.  Sure I asked many questions about the conflict, the street fighting and the bombings.  Sure, I grew up with the awareness of the conflict but it was never top of mind as I roamed the parks and streets of Miami.   After a couple of days in Dublin, a wonderful, thriving city full of life (and too many pubs), the train north put us in Belfast.  A short walk to our hotel in the city center and then off to explore…..and as theme goes ” a two-hour tour”.   We decided to see Belfast using the Black Cab tour – basically a driver and his taxi.  Out of the car comes a 6’1″ exact combination of Sean Bean, Jason Statham, and Vinnie Jones. He has us sit in the car, still parked in front of the hotel, and for 10 minutes goes on to tell us exactly who he is, what he thinks, and his POV on Northern Ireland and it’s history of terror.  He obviously has our full and undivided attention as he drives and explains that the city of Belfast is defined by Falls Road on the Catholic side and Shankill Road on the Protestant side.  He asks us many times to get out to look at the war murals, the head office of Sinn Fein, the Irish Republic Army’s (IRA) political arm, and the so-called IRA museum, where we look through documents, posters, and photos as well as a myriad of weapons used in the conflict.  He shows us the wall the still divides the city and the gates that are still closed in the evenings to prevent the separatists from fighting.  Then he takes us to Shankill Road on the Protestant side, which he told us he would do though I could tell he wanted nothing to do with the area.  We stop at the remains of the Red Lion Pub on Shankill Road where he walks us through simple wall murals that show photos of what was once a pub, it’s patrons, and the three people killed and 30 injured when in November of 1971, an IRA brigade bombed the pub.  The reality:  our driver was/is an IRA operative, jailed twice and definitely the type of man you don’t make enemies with.  I asked him about the existence of the IRA today and he just gave me a look and told me that the IRA will never really go away.  The two-hour experience was everything emotional, shocking, historic and sad.  Our driver was sincere, tough and one-sided but he did give us the POV of “the other side”.  I asked the driver about a real ‘neutral’, no-man’s land within Belfast.  He smiled and replied “This is Belfast.  There is none.”   Background:  Around ninety years ago Ireland was split in two after people living there went to war against their British rulers. The south, where Dublin is located,  became a separate state, now called the Republic of Ireland. This division between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland led to decades of unrest and violence in Northern Ireland, which remained part of the UK.  “The Troubles”, as Northern Ireland’s sectarian strife came to be known, erupted many decades ago, when Catholic Irish nationalists, favoring unification with the Irish Republic to the south, began a violent and terror-filled campaign against Britain and the Loyalist Protestant paramilitaries who supported continued British rule.  Ireland, including the North, is lively, beautiful and historic.  We visited Howth on the southeast coast, which was charming, beautiful and a great place to spend time away from the busy streets of Dublin.  You can’t go wrong visiting Ireland and when in Belfast get a history lesson by taking the Black Cab tour.

This will be not be a 28-3 halftime lead and subsequent debacle.  This will not be the the Falcons in Miami’s Super Bowl with their starting safety arrested the night before the game.  This will not be the 1991, 1992, 1996 or 1999 Atlanta Braves.  This is Atlanta United.  This is Arthur Blank, Darren Eales and Gerardo (Tata) Martino.  This is the MLS Championship at home with 74,000 fans absolutely going crazy for 90+ minutes.  This is a team of warriors.  While everyone just ‘loves their style of play’, this team showed us in the NYRB series that they can go to war and fight, and more importantly play a style that may be ugly but wins games.  With Tata, Miguel, and possibly Josef departing, as well as players who will not be resigned for next year, this team, made up of players from different backgrounds and nationalities, will come onto the field Saturday night ready to go to war.  Portland is a formidable opponent with a rookie coach who has won championships at different levels, but in Mercedes Benz Stadium, under the watchful eye of Arthur Blank and 74,000  supporters, Atlanta United will bring home the silverware.  By the way, there WILL be a parade, and Tata better be given a key to the City as he moves on to run the national team of Mexico.  I am fired up and will be at the stadium to witness this team going to war to get it done.  Unite & Conquer.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!!!

Honor Our Veterans. Short Takes.

Fly Your Flag.   My View, My Take.

Fly your flag all the time, but at a minimum today and tomorrow.  November 11 designates Veterans Day, honoring those who are and have served in the United States Armed Forces.  Forget politics, forget Woodrow Wilson and WWI, Harry Truman and WWII, LBJ and Vietnam, and any of our other leaders who have put our soldiers in harms way.  Stand up, give up your seat, shake the veteran’s hand, and above all else say thank you to them for their service to our country.  This is not about politics, this is about honor and sacrifice.  The least all of us can do is say thank you.   

I don’t remember the curriculum in middle and high school but I do know that at one time I took American history classes.  My knowledge of World War II is mediocre and maybe enhanced by all the war movies my father made me watch (over and over)…..can you say Von Ryan’s Express, Bridge Over the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone, and The Longest Day?  What I have barely any knowledge of is World War I, the war of all wars. Today marks the 100-year anniversary of the United States entering WWI.  We waited until 1917 but in 1914 the division of power within Europe was remarkable, starting with the Triple Entente (allies) and the Central Powers. The incident that sparked this massive conflict was a bit surprising and resulted in the total number of deaths of 10 million military personnel. The civilian death toll was about 8 million, including about 6 million due to war-related famine and disease. I have never been known as the sharpest pencil in the stack but having little to no knowledge of WWI is a bit embarrassing.

Vote recount.  To Florida, Georgia, and Arizona:  it is the end of 2018 and you are an embarrassment to the rest of the country.  I will not comment on who should win and who should lose as I will stay away from politics.  It is both remarkable and unjust that your voting processes are disruptive, corrupt, biased, and influenced.  There are five Constitutional Amendments that deal with voting and the right to vote.  Don’t marginalize voter’s beliefs about the value of their vote.  For once and for all, get your systems in place to avoid what our Constitution stands for.  Disgusting with the technology and so-called oversight that is in place.

On the lighter side:  Thanksgiving is ten days away.  The NFL and MLS playoffs highlight a busy Sunday.  The beach will be really nice today and this better not be Tata Martino’s last game with Atlanta United.

Thoughts and prayers to all that are affected by California’s wildfires and the devastating attack at the restaurant/bar in Thousand Oaks.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

My Takes For The 1st Sunday In November.

Where Did the Bull Go?   Saturday Fun.  Making Things Happen.  Dark Shadows.  It is Your Right.

Do financial planners and money managers plead with their clients to run from the stock market just before and during October?  Last month Nasdaq had its worst month since 2008 and the S&P 500 had it worst performance since September 2011.  Though the Dow rebounded a bit on Halloween day, last Tuesday’s 800 point drop was alarming.   October is historically just plain bad – the month is infamous for the two black Mondays and the black Thursday.  Five out of 10 of the market’s worst days have happened in October as well as the Panic of 1907.  Is the play to drop out of equities in September and then jump back in late October when eye-opening stock prices like General Electric seem like a strategic buy?  There are many investors and financial people who thankfully read this blog – how about chiming in with your take on the markets and the month of October?

As I have stated many times, I grew up as a big fan of the National Football League and remain a fan of the NFL, especially the Atlanta Falcons. With that said, there is no doubt that college football rises way up over the football games played on Sundays (yes, on Thursday and Monday nights as well).  The pageantry, fan experience, and level of enthusiasm is tremendous and outshines most NFL experiences.  Take for example yesterday’s Texas v West Virginia match up.  An incredible offensive display by both teams and West Virginia’s coach going for two with no time left on the clock down 41-40.  You did see the final play, correct?

I am not the only critic of the season’s performance by Orlando City.  A rough year to say the least, with of change of head coach at mid-season opening the door for both local Orlando and national soccer journalists to lean hard on Orlando City’s management and ownership.  And OCSC’s management and ownership group has responded to the down year and criticism with immediate effect. OCSC has changed up their scouting staff with the objective of finding those talented but relatively young South Americans, Europeans, and Americans who they can sign for a reasonable transfer fee. The strategy is to then develop their skills and professionalism so that a few years down the line they can be purchased by a European club.  It is a key business strategy and goal of all Major League Soccer clubs to acquire talented players on a low transfer fee and then sell high.  Look for Atlanta’s Miguel Almiron to drive home this business tactic – he was purchased for somewhere around $8M and it looks like one or more Premier League clubs will buy him in the winter transfer window for as much as $25M.  A return of 2.5-3X. Along with their new scouting team, OCSC has also announced that they are building a world-class training center just south of Orlando.  This training center will serve as a key strategy when pitching a potential player who is looking for the right club with the right combination of training facility and stadium. The two-year old stadium is fantastic and as of next July, will dovetail with a great training ground.  A great start to the off season.

I have previously harped on the disaster of daylight savings time ending so I will stay away from the subject.  Actually, I cannot refrain. Darkness before 6pm absolutely, positively sucks.  I do understand and am sensitive to the young children being in the dark at their bus stops, but in reality, and unlike when I was a youngster, there are usually sets of parents with kids waiting on their bus.  Daylight savings time has many attributes that all of you are aware of, and more importantly darkness leads to daylight seasonal disorder (also called “it’s too damn dark too early”).

The 15th Amendment. Exercise your right to vote on Tuesday.  Enough said.

Adios and Have Funday Sunday!!

Take Their Leverage Away.

Saudi Arabia.  Fuel Prices. Oil Dependency. Alternative Sources of Energy.

My feelings have nothing to do with politics or religion.  I just don’t like the way the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does business.  Oil is their poison pill and their leverage.  If they did not have this leverage could they behave badly with their Middle East neighbors and the rest of the world? Could they hide behind the fact that they licensed the murder of a journalist at their consulate in Istanbul?  We can complain all we want but the only answer is to take that leverage away and lower our dependency on foreign oil, especially with Saudi Arabia.

Here is some background information starting with facts and questions from S², who was born and raised in the Middle East:

  • In 2018 the USA surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the leading producer of crude oil.  
  • The USA consumes over 20 million barrels of petroleum products per day.
  •  Most of the oil consumed in the USA is used in cars.  So why not reward owners of high mileage vehicles?  
  • Electric – make it’s use affordable. I cannot buy the argument that we put a man on the moon in 1969 and we cannot create a battery that yields 500 miles of range on one charge.
  • Solar usage. Israel forces every new home to have solar panels. Why not create incentives for home and commercial builders to design solar into their construction plans?
  • Why should we continue to import oil from Saudi Arabia.  Why not increase our buy from Canada and Russia?

Realities:  As a transport-intensive society, and though the USA’s production is up year-over-year, it is not nearly enough to satisfy our thirst for oil.  While we produce close to 12 million barrels daily, our consumption is close to 21 million barrels per day.   Can the USA produce more oil?  Not exponentially as we can only extract a certain amount of oil at reasonable or competitive prices.  Extracting oil from U.S. soil is difficult and expensive to obtain – not a viable option with overseas oil prices remaining relatively low.

Creating alternative fuel sources used for transportation seems like a good way to deal with the problem. Bringing domestically produced alternative fuels — like ethanol, natural gas, electricity, and hydrogen into the transportation fuel mix will reduce our oil consumption and decrease the amount of foreign oil we import.  Reducing our imports, especially from Saudi Arabia, will mean that the USA is less susceptible to price hikes which for the most part are caused by international events and political discord.  For example, ten of the last eleven recessions have been preceded by a spike in oil prices – along with the U.S. government spending billions of dollars defending oil trade routes.  Alternative sources of fuel, at a basic benefit, give people the opportunity to select their fuel source and mitigate the cost implications of a spike in oil prices.

An associate of mine, T.A., works within the energy sector.  Her view:  “I agree with the comments regarding electric vehicles to lessen our dependency on foreign oil.  We are seeing public transportation fleets convert to electric or compressed natural gas in California based on mandates from the state. 
More and more states are putting in renewable energy targets as well to maximize use of solar and wind. Storing that energy for future use is essential. EV may play a part in that but not sure how right now.
Adoption will be the key. Whether it’s making the cars more attractive, states putting mandates in place or people like you helping people connect the dots may motivate people to make their next car an EV.”

An alternative fuel like E85 may not be the long term answer but at a minimum it seems to be another path of least resistance to slow down the USA’s dependency on foreign oil.  E85 is made up of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.  There are attributes and some downside to E85 but it does seem that the pluses outweigh the minuses:  it is domestically produced and for the most part made of corn starch.  It supports the efforts of our farmers.  E85 can reduce greenhouse emissions and is biodegradable.  On the downside, it does cost a bit more than regular gasoline and yields less MPG’s based on fuel volume.  One big reason that E85 has not caught on in the USA is the lack of fueling stations. This issue also affects owners of electric cars, who continuously complain about the lack of plugin infrastructure across America.

I offered up the energy issue to W.P., who summed up what many must be thinking:  “….I was struck by how relatively uninformed I am on this subject, and how I take the availability of inexpensive sources of energy for granted.  Maybe this observation is my message, i.e. too many of us have become complacent with the energy status quo (cheap, virtually limitless) so we don’t think much about it, and we have no sense of urgency to develop alternative sources. To build on your thoughts, I think the USA needs a bipartisan strategy to gradually wean ourselves off of fossil fuels in a manner that minimizes economic repercussions over the next 10-20 years. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. Therefore, I believe we will be poorly prepared for the next energy shock — and it will happen sooner rather than later.”

The bottom line:  it is essential that the USA, once and for all, reduce their dependency on foreign oil.  It is time to marginalize Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East.  It is time to take some risks with creating viable and alternative sources of domestically produced energy.  It is really bad business for bad-behaving countries to have leverage with crude oil.  Very bad business.

I would like your take on this subject. Comments are welcome – use the “Leave a Comment” section of the blog. I stay away from politics but if you have a position on this issue you can email Rick Perry, our Secretary of Energy, at:

 Thoughts and prayers to all who were affected by yesterday’s incident in Pittsburgh.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!

Reset. Stay Wealthy. Game 7. The Mystery Abroad. Arena Enhancements. Next Up. Cornhuskers.

Changing It Up. Don’t Just Give It Away.  Compelling Baseball?   Really, An Accident? The Revised Arena.  The National Team Dilemma.   Mid-America Tourism. 

Orlando City played a mid-week game and set a Major League Soccer record that no one is proud of……goals allowed in a season.  With that said their second 45 minutes on Wednesday showed glimpses of a team with fight and perseverance.  After today’s finale Orlando City must pivot and show their supporters, partners, and the media that they mean serious business.  Here’s to their ownership and management getting it done!  

Will you win the $1.7B Mega Millions jackpot?  I hope so and if you do come up the winner please donate the majority of your winnings to charities of your choice.  It is not about just ‘giving back’, it is about using your money wisely and not being one of many who have gone broke within a few years of winning the grand prize.  Financial analysts state that 70% of all lottery winners, within five years, declare personal bankruptcy.  Seriously.

If you are a baseball fan last night’s game seven between the Brewers and Dodgers was good fun. It’s really tough  to watch a three-hour baseball game but the World Series match up between the Red Sox and Dodgers should be a good one.

A journalist, a Turkish consulate, and Saudi Arabia.  Are you not sick and tired of listening to the Saudi’s insane rhetoric, posturing, and political positioning over the death of this journalist?  A man lost his life after supposedly being put in a choke hold.  That is called a homicide.  This is why I stay away from politics and religion – enough said.

Congrats to Steve Koonin and the Atlanta Hawks on the grand opening of the refurbished State Farm Arena (formerly named Philips Arena).  Now it is time for the club to make a statement on the court. 

I am a patriot….always been and always will be.  That is why I am still very interested with the decision the United States Soccer Federation needs to make in regards to their new national team manager.  The inability of our national team to qualify for this past summer’s World Cup exposed glaring issues with our team’s management, our player pool, and the youth systems who in essence should feed the player pool of the national team. This decision is paramount as the World Cup cycle and qualifying for Qatar 2022 will kick in sooner than we think.  (By the way, yes, I wrote Qatar 2022, a decision from #FIFA that will live in infamy).  The front runner for the job seems to be Gregg Berhalter, currently the manager of the Columbus Crew.  I am not qualified to tell you whether or not Berhalter is the right man for the job, but what I do know is that status quo in this search and selection should not be a part of picking the manager.  It is very, very unlikely to happen but here is my favored scenario:  Gerardo “Tata” Martino, the manager of Atlanta United, becomes the next manager of the United States National Team.  U.S. Soccer negotiates a deal with Darren Eales and Atlanta United to allow Tata to train the national team at Atlanta United’s beautiful training center AND to stay on board with Atlanta United in a advisory role.  Win-win as our national team finally gets a manager who can develop, train and prepare our player pool, Atlanta United hires a new South American manager who receives guidance from Tata, and the national team benefits from training at a world-class training facility.  Reality:  my plan goes down the drain after the MLS Championship game when Tata, who has not been approached by the U.S. Soccer Federation, takes the helm with Mexico’s national team.   Meh.

I love the state of Nebraska’s new tourism tag line: “Nebraska. Honestly, It’s Not for Everyone.”  My former college coach most likely disagrees with the new tag line as he once again is living and coaching in Omaha.  I have been to Omaha – a great town with great people.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

Mid-September Takes.

Here’s To Many Things:

Here is to everyone that was in Michael’s path recovering quickly.  To those who lost their loved ones….our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Here is to OPEC and the other power brokers dealing with yield and sanctions to prevent oil from skyrocketing to $100 a barrel.

Here is to Orlando City providing their manager with a great player pool for 2019;  to Atlanta United figuring out a positive path should Tata Martino leave and a big club in Europe swallow up Miguel Almiron; to Inter Miami and David Beckham getting a positive vote to turn Mel Reese Golf Course into a mega-center including a stadium for their new Major League Soccer club.

Here is to what is expected to be a tremendous year for California wineries.  Every empty bottle is filled with a great story!

Here is to “The Gulch” next to State Farm Arena and near Mercedes Benz Stadium receiving the support it needs to build out a real “city center” for the city of Atlanta.  

Here is to the Department of Defense figuring out the F-35 program, and doing it quickly.  The program is now on hold but the reported spend to date to build out the entire fighter jet program is over $350 billion.  

Forgetting specific politics, here is to Germany finding a replacement for Chancellor Angela Merkel.  You may not have agreed to her stance on many things but she was a woman of pride, dignity and professionalism.

Here is to many more people having the brain power of Stephen Hawking.  I won’t even pretend to understand his “black hole” theories but many people do.  Smart doesn’t even begin to describe Hawking.

Here is to the section of Interstate 4 in Orlando being completed before 2022.  It is time to make the “City Beautiful” navigable.

Here is to the scientists screwing around with gene editing having the smarts to not mess with nature.  Do we really need more mice created from two females?  

Here is to the Dow Jones, international diplomacy, the Centers for Disease Control, and to both footballs.  

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!!

UFC Rubbish. Changes. $. Parity. Ford. Inspiration. Brunch with the EPL.

This is Not Sport. The OCSC Pivot.  Draw Now?   This Is Why Saturday’s Are For Football.  A Workforce of 70,000 Salaried Workers. One Arm.  The Battle at Anfield.

Obviously it is a money grab but the UFC circus is out of control.  Last night’s pay-per-view fight between Khabib Nurmagomedev and Conor McGregor ended rather quickly with McGregor completely over-matched.  Never much of a fight, Nurmagomedev dominated McGregor from the opening bell and this ‘battle’ ended with a choke hold and submission as McGregor tapped out.  What happened after the fight was the telling tale as a melee broke out OUTSIDE the cage.  Outrageous, demeaning, and unprofessional – and this is a sport that attracts big pay-per-view money and a demographic dominated by millennials.  Not good.

I jammed up Orlando City a couple of weeks ago but I was told that last night’s effort was outstanding in a loss to a very good Dallas F.C. club.  That is great news to hear.  November through February should be an interesting time for Orlando City as they look to make changes that should have their supporters excited for a great 2019 season!  On a down note, Atlanta United’s win over New England came at a great expense with Miguel Almiron going down with a hamstring injury.  Everyone is replaceable but his shoes will be big ones to fill. 

Does anyone have a SIMPLE online calculator to determine when someone should start drawing social security benefits?  Obviously age and future income expectations come into play but it would be nice to have a plug and play calculation using all the variables.  Anyone have an answer?

The first Saturday in October brings drama to the pitch and the gridiron.  After a few weeks of the Premier League and NCAA football, the dynamics of competition always seem to heighten our awareness of parity, and maybe a bit of drama.  Yesterday started off with Jose Mourinho and his Manchester United going down to Newcastle 2-0 in the first half.   All the naysayers at Armando’s in Winter Park were already cursing at the TV’s, cheering on the fact that Manchester United’s manager would soon be shown the door. Whether it be Mourinho’s will or the aura of #OldTrafford, Manchester United stormed back to win 3-2 on a 90th minute header from Alexis Sanchez, the shortest player on the field.  Then we move onto the other football which was a day of showing why bookmakers in Las Vegas go just a bit crazy.  Auburn, ranked 8th, scores only 9 points and loses to Mississippi State.  Clemson, ranked 4th, barely squeaks by Syracuse 27-23 and #5 LSU lays an egg losing to the Gators 27-19.  There was no defense in this year’s Red River Classic as #7 Oklahoma gave up 48 points in a loss to Texas.  Parity and a good bit of drama.  Saturdays = good fun.

Ford’s stock is down 26% year-to-date and now they announce a reduction in force.  Ford expects to eliminate up to 5,000 salaried jobs which only prompts the question: “If you can take out 5,000 jobs from your salaried workforce what were those 5,000 people doing in the first place?”  If you are a shareholder of their stock you just have to be shaking your head.

Inspiration. Google the latest episode of HBO’s Real Sports and go to the segment featuring seven year-old Tommy Morrissey.  Or…take two minutes and watch this:

That’s all for today as I need to get ready for more football….that would be Liverpool v Manchester City at 11:30am EDT.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

4,000 Sq. Ft. No TV. C’mon USA! Orlando City.

The Star of Amazon?  Live From D.C.  Parisian Golf.  Not The Players.

A massive and ever-growing online universe with many other business units and many, many lines of businesses within those units.  Never mind the bricks and mortar strategy with the acquisition of 460 Whole Foods stores, Amazon on Wednesday introduced Amazon 4-star, a store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.  The store features top-selling and trending items rated four stars and above on, with popular products from categories that include devices, consumer electronics, kitchen, home, toys and books.  This store is Amazon’s flagship but they already have many pop-up stores and book stores.  Could this be a turn of fortune for the retail industry?  I doubt it as online shopping is still growing exponentially and some new retail ventures have failed miserably.  For example, Lowe’s new venture with Orchard Supply, a store smaller than a Lowe’s but with more merchandise than a hardware store, has decided to close all 90 stores by February.  On the surface, it seemed like a solid concept as a hybrid between big box Lowe’s and Ace Hardware, but the reality is that the big boxes, Ace Hardware and online shopping dominant this space.  What comes down the pipeline from a bricks and mortar perspective will be very interesting to watch over the next 18-24 months.

No religion and no politics.  That is what I try to stay with when writing content.  With that said, and not going the political route:  why do confirmation hearings for people nominated to our highest court need to be on national television? Does the live broadcast provide a platform of grandstanding for all involved?  Does the pressure of being watched by hundreds of millions alter the questions to the candidate and more importantly their answers?  I would enjoy reading your take on these questions.

I am up watching the #RyderCup.  It started at 6am EDT and hopefully will last all 12 singles matches.  The USA’s performance has been dismal through the first two days so maybe today will be different? Even if you are not a fan of golf, watching the USA versus Europe in any competition is good fun.

My take is my take so I will not shy away from my opinion.  Sometimes my content is taken too literal so I will clear something up from last week’s rant on the performance of the Orlando City.  In no way was I commenting on the performance of the players.  They are professionals and I have no doubt that they go out every game, especially against Atlanta United, and put in their best to earn a win and three points.  My POV targeted management and ownership who I do not feel has worked hard enough to give their manager the player pool to compete at the highest levels of Major League Soccer.  Do I have solutions for Orlando City?  You bet I do.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

Short Takes. #ATLUTD Supporters.

My View.   A Tale of Two Clubs.   

The Debt – my daughter and I watched this movie the other night.  Great writing, great acting, and a very strong message.  It has been out a few years….you can find it on Netflix or Amazon.

Conor McGregor – you are a great example of what we, as parents, do not want our children to watch or witness. Yes, you signed a massive deal to fight but so what? Can you say trash?

Nordstrom – you are certainly taking advice from your vast resource of retail consultants.  Your merchandising scheme is bound to enhance your year-over-year sales selling used and taped-up sneakers for $530.00  Perfect.

To the man in France – if you live with 400 reptiles IN YOUR HOME, and allow a seven-foot alligator to sleep in your bed… Enough said.

Miley Cyrus’ sister – I  hope you cry all the way to the bank!

To the Waffle House robber – #WaffleHouse in Villa Rica, Georgia is not Nobu;  if you plan on robbing a Waffle House using a BB gun, don’t complain that you got shot by a customer with a .357 magnum.  Just cork your whine.

News outlets – Some of you actually reported on whether or not Bert and Ernie are gay.  People in North Carolina are suffering from severe flooding but Bert and Ernie made your news content list.   News directors are wondering why their ratings are diminishing.  You can’t fix stupid.

We don’t know how good we have it as Atlanta United supporters.  Sometimes our level of expectation with our Club may exceed the realities of professional soccer in America.  A huge country to navigate away games, match congestion due to many factors, and the heat of the mostly summer schedule.  A leading-edge stadium, a president with the pedigree and commitment to establish a world-class club, and a owner and manager who know how most of the keys to success work.  So…we were exasperated late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning when United went down 3-1 to the lowly San Jose Earthquakes.  Yes, a miraculous comeback and another three points for United, but even if they had tied or lost to the Earthquakes, the scenario is 180 degrees from what is going on with Orlando City.   Let’s start off with the statement from Orlando’s manager……after he has been in charge for eleven games, after replacing a manager who has taken a team to the MLS championship game: “There’s other individuals that maybe believe that they’re trying, but I think overall, when you look at the commitment today, I think it leaves you with a lot of questions asking around the level of commitment, the level of motivation and the character of individuals.”  Wait, what?  You have been in charge for eleven games and you are just figuring out that most of your player pool is sub-standard? Since you have taken charge your team has a record of one win, eight losses and two ties.  Please stop with the cliches and give your ownership group an ultimatum:  start spending the money to source a competitive player pool….or do yourself a favor and go find a job with an ownership group who cares. Compare that statement and Orlando City’s performance (overall record is 7-18-3) to what you witnessed late Wednesday night, with an Atlanta United team down 3-1 in the second half.  They had already clinched a playoff spot and played their second road game in a row within four days. Atlanta’s players could have cashed it in but fought hard until the 96th minute and turned chicken crap into chicken salad by sheer effort and determination.  Be thankful, Atlanta United fans.  I live in Orlando and what is going on down here with their Major League Soccer team is in two words unacceptable and embarrassing.