End of August Takes.

The Hanoi Hilton.   A Contingency.   Fish Kill.   Real Estate Woes?  The United Factor.  Thanks.

Shot down over enemy lines, he spent five years in hell, or what the North Vietnamese called prison.  He had a tremendous run, making his mark in the world of politics and took a very hard stance with protecting all Americans.  RIP John McCain.

There is the usual air of confidence surrounding the Atlanta Falcons heading into their season opener September 6th against the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  Not that results in the preseason mean anything but the 0-3 Falcons look marginal and have yet to play Julio Jones or Devonta Freeman.  At a minimum, and to many of us way more enjoyable, we have Atlanta United to fall back on as they make their late season run to the Supporters Shield and the Major League Soccer playoffs.

Heads up.  If you and the family are planning a trip to the West coast of Florida be aware of the two emerging tides……and I am not referring to the high and low tide.   The Red tide may now be joined with the Brown tide – in a word nasty stuff killing fish and preventing people from enjoying the Gulf of Mexico. A sad situation on what are usually incredibly beautiful beaches.

Is the soft real estate business typical seasonality or a sign of a pending slowdown or correction in the marketplace?  Wells Fargo, still recovering from their sleazy customer on boarding practices, has now told as many as 700 employees in their mortgage practice to find a new job “to better align with current volumes”.  Interesting dichotomy with the stock market’s bull run.  

Not a common thread for professional athletes.  Think about Manchester City, Barcelona, Liverpool, and Toronto FC.  Each with a great player, small in stature, who has dominated the playing field with tremendous skill, tactical awareness, and the ability to take 50/50 chances and convert them into goals.  Now take a look a #JosefMartinez, Atlanta United’s 5’6″ striker who on Friday night, before a raucous crowd at Orlando City Stadium, set the Major League Soccer season scoring record with his 28th goal.  Martinez brings it every game, holding off defenders with his fierce playing style and ability to strike the ball with either foot.  A more interesting statistic is his nine goals with his head, a bit crazy considering he is sometimes going up against defenders who tower over him.  He is on 28 goals and still has eight regular season games to play.  Any guess on the number he ends up with?

Today’s blog marks two years of Just My Take.  I appreciate all the comments, rebuttals, and pure disagreements from all the readers.  I will continue on with the blog and make every attempt to stay away from religion and politics.  Your response to my take is always welcome.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!

Queen of Soul. Fatty. Ebola. Show Respect. Oh Wilbur. Never Too Old?

Another One GoneMake Up Your Mind.  Viral Elimination.  Stand For The Flag. Mom, Why Are There Horses Boarding The Plane? Sarasota Soccer In The Summer.

Last Thursday she passed away of pancreatic cancer a the age of 76.  Born to a musical family in Memphis she became famous in the ’60s for her one-of-a-kind gospel-style music that covered many topics including love and feminism.  Aretha Franklin, called by many the “Queen of Soul”, had more than 100 singles on the Billboard charts and was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  She was one of the most decorated Grammy winners of all time and performed at sold-at venues across the world.  You all remember ‘Respect’ and ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’…..and her incredible diner scene in the #BluesBrothers.  RIP Aretha Franklin.

It seems that doctors can not make up their minds.  Recently reported by researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, people on low-carb diets who replaced their carbohydrates with protein and fats from animals, such as with beef, lamb, pork, chicken and cheese, had a greater risk of mortality than those whose protein and fats came from plant sources, such as vegetables and nuts.  Well OK……it is now time to go to the food intake of the Paleolithic era.

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is so dangerous that humanitarian groups are no longer allowed to go to that region of Africa.  A very sad situation and someways unbelievable that the #CDC and their vast resources can not solve this serious issue.  Hypothetical question:  ‘Would a vaccine come faster if the affected region was not in a third-world country?”.   Makes me wonder.  An awful situation.

I have stated many times that I am a football fan.  All three:  American pro and college football and the football played with the round ball.   So let’s forget politics and the 1st Amendment for a nano-second and get back to reality:  if you don’t stand for an Honor Guard, the National Anthem, and the Flag, you are showing disrespect to every active and retired military veteran, as well as our military who have been killed in action.  Disrespect in my workplace is not tolerated.  To the people who run the NFL Players Association (#NFLPA):  all of you are spineless to relent and let some of your membership behave this way.  Spineless is lenient – I have a more descriptive word for your weakness in dealing with your Association members.

Sources tell me Mr. Ed is very teed off.  After decades of having to travel America in a horse trailer, Mr. Ed has learned that Southwest Airlines will now allow miniature horses to come aboard their aircraft.  Sure, miniature horses are recognized as service animals by the American Disabilities Act, but all of us who travel completely understand what could be a smelly situation at 30,000 feet.  Mr. Ed was last seen huddled with his attorneys working through a possible endorsement deal with Southwest.  Perfect.

I just finished playing in a 7 v 7 soccer tournament in Sarasota, Florida. Great fun but the Southwest Florida heat is a bit overwhelming. We fortunately did not make it through to the Final which would have had us playing 200 minutes in under two days. I am checking out now, looking for an IV, a cold pool, and a massage therapist.  I promise your Sunday is going to be way more fun than mine.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday.   

Operation Noble Eagle. Not A Strip Tease. It is 2018. The EPL. Perfect Pitch.

1800 Sorties.  It Started With the Ottoman Empire.  Hate Not.  Kane & Progba.  Six Innings of Fun.

The real question to be answered is the ability for any unauthorized person to get into the cockpit of a commercial airliner, taxi out to a runway, and takeoff.  We will look to the authorities at the Sea-Tac airport, NTSB,  and TSA to find these answers.  The backstory to this Friday night incident is Operation Noble Eagle, put into place shortly after 9/11.  We all know it as NORAD which is the acronym for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.  #NORAD is the combined organization of the U.S.A. and Canada charged with aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and protection for North America.  Under Operation Noble Eagle, it is alarming that NORAD has had to deploy 1,800 intercepts of non-military aircraft since 9/11.  For Friday night’s mission, NORAD directed two F-15 fighter jets to fly at supersonic speed from Portland, Oregon to intercept this rouge jet to prevent the pilot from crashing into a populated area or nuclear power plant.  The directive to shoot down the plane comes from NORAD, based near Colorado Springs and commanded by a 4-Star General.  The good news is that the pilot had no intention of terrorism and ended up crashing the plane onto an uninhabited island in Puget Sound.  A very sad scenario for this sick young man but fortunate that he was only looking for a thrill ride.  The real life situation for that 4-Star General at NORAD becomes a bit of a different situation when a jetliner is filled with passengers and crew, with terrorists taking over the plane similar to the scenarios of 9/11.  Giving the ‘knock-down’ command in that scenario has to be gut-wrenching.

Inhabited since the 15th century B.C. this strip of land later became part of the Ottoman Empire.  This Palestinian territory, only twice the size of Washington D.C., sits on the Mediterranean Sea and is bordered by Egypt and Israel.  Coined “the intractable conflict”, the #Gaza strip conflicts are inflamed by Jewish immigration and settlements, sectarian uprisings between Arabs and Jews, and Israeli occupation of the West Bank.  Fifty-one years of continuous conflict and war has also been fueled by many terrorist groups based in Gaza.  The Army of Islam, Hamas, and the Palestine Liberation Front come to mind but are also supported by foreign-based terrorist groups including ISIS.  Unfortunately there is no answer for this ongoing conflict as it dovetails with inevitable battles surrounding the Middle East.  2000 years of disagreement and conflict seems like it will never go away.

A year ago yesterday, in a beautiful town anchored by the University of Virginia, racial uprisings resulted in violence and several deaths.  Charlottesville, Virginia received worldwide attention as neo-Nazi sympathizers and counter protesters clashed at what was called a White Nationalist Rally.  America and Civil Rights go hand-in-hand but racial and religious discrimination is in one word sickening.  I guess you have a right to be a bigoted moron but why not find your way to a faraway place to vent your racial bias?  I know you are too stupid to figure out where to go so I will pick a destination for you:  how about the Danakil Depression, which straddles Ethiopia and Eritrea, with many considering it the hottest, lowest, and least livable place on Earth.  Sounds like the perfect fit for all of you.

The English Premier League started off on Friday.  Already we have Jose Mourinho smiling and three points for Tottenham.  Arsenal and Manchester City go at it later this morning capping off a good first weekend of the EPL.

It is has been a long time since I sat in front of a television to watch a Major League Baseball game.  I am not a hater of baseball, I just don’t like the monotonous pace as well as the length of the game.  Yes, I have proposed changing the game a bit, including reducing the number of innings to seven, but I doubt that my suggestion will ever happen as it will reduce the amount of commercial and promotional spots.  On the flip side, I took in a Little League World Series regional game yesterday.  The kids are no older than thirteen and show great skills and passion for the game of baseball.  Fun to watch and the game at this level is six innings.  Perfect.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

Short Takes For The First Sunday of August

The Miracle of Durango. Football & Football.  Weed and the Jetsons. Judgement Day.  Johnny Be Bad.  A Wager.  Thanks.

Amazing that an aircraft filled with 100 passengers lifts off the runway at Mexico’s Durango airport only to be pushed back down by the force of wind shear.  The plane is slammed back down and the pilot steers the plane off the end of the runway….where it then catches fire.  Injuries, yes.  Fatalities, no.  Kudos to the passengers, many who are climbing back on planes to finally head to their destinations.  Extremely lucky.

Thursday night’s Hall of Fame game officially kicked off the start of the National Football League season.  Tomorrow’s Community Shield gets us ready for the start of the Premier League.  College football is three weeks away and Major League Soccer’s season is heading into it’s final third of the season.  Let’s get ready for some football!

Marijuana production and the private commercialization of space.  Who would have thought that these two industries would ever evolve? Marijuana companies across the globe are on pace to raise a record $8 billion by the end of 2018 as more companies go public and scale to meet growing demand.  When you think about who’s in charge of cutting-edge spaceflight in 2018, #SpaceX is probably the first name that comes to mind. Maybe Orbital ATK; or Blue Origin, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.  Fueled by legislation, these two industries are poised for amazing growth over the next decade.  Unthinkable ten years ago.

Unfortunately power, money and control sometimes affects people and leads to very poor judgement.  These factors come into play with business, sports, church, and school administrators.  Now Ohio State University’s head football coach, the second highest paid college football coach in the country, is caught up in a serious issue relating to one of his former assistant coaches.  I truly believe in due process so let’s allow the six members of the investigating committee to come to their conclusion.  Let’s hope that a clear and transparent investigation yields a clear and transparent decision.  At a minimum, a very sad situation for #Urban Meyer.

Great debut #JohnnyManziel.  Four interceptions – in the first half alone.  Sometimes, what goes around comes around.  At least you are hanging out in the great city of Montreal.  Bonne Chance, Johnny.

Thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the federal ban on wagering outside of Nevada, you can or soon will be able to bet on sports in a variety of other states. That decision has led to a constantly changing climate for sports gambling around the country, with states moving forward on legal wagering or starting to talk about the issue.  Outside of Nevada, you can now wager on sports in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, and Rhode Island.  In New York, the law did not change but you can wager at the State’s four commercial casinos.  Other states are bound to follow which should turn the illegal gambling industry upside down.

This post marks my 90th blog.  A great challenge for me, especially with avoiding politics and religion.  Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.  

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday.