Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy holidays to all

It has been a very exciting 2010. I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and happy and healthy 2011. I look forward to sharing the news and my thoughts throughout 2011 on Boston to Washington. One of my New Year's resolutions will be to post more! Thank you for your suppport this year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DADT Repealed

Today the Senate made a historic vote to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Under this policy, gay and lesbian servicemen could risk discharge from the military if they revealed their sexual preference. With this repeal, they can now serve without being discriminated against based on their sexual preference. It will also encourage more highly skilled officers to enlist and provide necessary skills to help the armed forces. This is especially satisfying as this was the change that President Obama promised during the campaign. For those that are complaining, he has delivered in a few ways on that.

Turning a page

The year has come to an end for Arlington Young Democrats and my role with the Careers and Networking Group. I take a lot of personal pride in building the online groups, first introducing the group, organizing and promoting all of the events, and plugging members into other AYD events. However, I feel it is time to move onto other ventures including putting more time into my job. It is bittersweet to step away from this role but it was a great ride and good experience for me. My good friend and roommate Shawn will be taking over responsibilities for now with this group. He will be serving as Secretary so he hopes to pass the chair of this onto another person.

Most importantly, I ended my term on a high note. I received the Community Service Award for 2010 and was very honored and humbled to get this. We have a lot of great people in this organization and I took a lot of pride in this recognition. Between my recognition my colleagues and friends Gordon and Lauren getting AYD of the Year and Unsung Hero, respectively, we established a legacy and of course, we went out on top! Thanks to AYD for a memorable year and this recognition. I won't go to far and look forward to sharing my new experiences with those I met and got to know this year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cold in DC

It is going to be very cold for the next few days in DC/Arlington with highs in the 20s and low 30s. This was the weather I was supposed to have for New England in a few weeks. All I care is that the snow stays away and I can get home safely for Christmas. Looks like I will be wearing sweaters to work for the next several days.

Brett Farve Streak ends

Brett Farve's streak of consecutive games started ended today at 297. We knew it was going to end sometime and his injury was too much to overcome. It was definitely a strange sequence of events with the dome collapse and all as to how it came to an end. Not surprisingly, ESPN spent the first 20 minutes of the Monday Night Countdown show talking about it. They weren't even covering the rescheduled game.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Roof Collapse

This weekend's Giants-Vikings game had a crazy set of events unlike most games have ever seen. The Giants had their flight diverted to Kansas City due to a major snowstorm in Minneapolis and the plan was to delay the game one day. Then on Sunday morning the roof of the MetroDome collapsed forcing them to move the game to Detroit on Monday night. Talk about a logistical nightmare to try and plan for. There was always talk about a new football stadium in Minnesota. Maybe now is the time for action in the Twin Cities.

Patriots on a roll

The New England Patriots are looking like the best team in the AFC and the NFL after beating the Jets last week and then doing the same to Chicago this weekend. They are playing well in December, the time of the year you are supposed to be hot and as of now they are officially in the playoffs. The playoffs could be a huge wake up call as it looks like any potential game will be a rematch. However it seems like this team is very hungry to get back to the Super Bowl especially after their difficult loss in the opening round of the playoffs last year.

Monday, December 6, 2010


It is plan and simple, releasing this information is a matter of national and worldwide security and those doing it should be punished to the fulllest extent of the law. I rest my case.

I'm back

Sorry for the lack of posts. Holiday season activities have started to get in the way. I had a great Thanksgiving holiday at home and got to see family, eat, watch football, and go to my high school reunion. All were enjoyable. Andover won its Thanksgiving high school game and conference title. Ohio State beat Michigan (again) and will play in the Sugar Bowl as Big Ten conference champions. It was after Thanksgiving so I actually got to watch with my grandfather on his new big screen TV.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Great weekend

I had a great mid November four day weekend. I took care of a lot of domestic chores around the house and did get out a little bit as well. Saturday I did a community service event raking leaves and mulching at homes of folks with disabilities which was enjoyable given the weather. Sunday morning I ran the Veterans Day 10k and logged a fairly good time. Looking forward to a "7 day week" leading up to Thanksgiving next week.

Patriots on a roll

The Patriots had a huge win at Pittsburgh last night after losing to Cleveland last week. That win could decide some significant home field advantage at some point. There are many saying that this is his best coaching job given all of the new players that came to the team this year. However, we still have December and January to judge the season and these players. Keep in mind the Patriots were in a similar position last season going into the game against Indianapolis and all it took was one call that changed the season.

Annoying Commercials

Here is 2010's version of Saved by Zero-courtesy of Geico. We are officially in the post election slow news cycle.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Election 2010 Recap

This was a very bad night for the Democrats as the Republicans gained 60 seats. I still went 3-1 in the campaigns that I worked on. The only setback was Tom Periello in Virginia and he was an especially talented public servant so that was a difficult loss. Despite the wave and the "Scott Brown" effect Massachusetts held serve with all seats staying in Democratic hands, particularly my home district where Niki Tsongas won decisively. Despite a rocky term, Deval Patrick will also be governor in Massachusetts for another four years.

Now it is up to President Obama and the administration to work hard on compromises with the House leadership. I still feel that he was right in pushing through health insurance reform as he had the political capital and legislative backing to do this. It will be difficult to repeal with the checks and balances system getting in the way. Going forward, he will have no choice but to work with the other side in passing legislation as the "shove it down your throat" option won't work anymore. We will also get to welcome Tea Party members to DC, fortunately Chris Coons and Harry Read staved off a total influx of tea partiers. As Ted Kennedy said, the work begins anew starting now.

Giants Win World Series

The San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series Monday night beating the Texas Rangers 3-1 to win in 5 games. It was the first World Championship for the Giants since moving to San Francisco and the franchise's first in 56 years. It was sure worth the wait and good to see a bunch of "no-names" do this in the era of high payrolls and free agency.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

John Stewart and Stephen Colbert rally this weekend

This weekend in Washington will be the John Stewart and Stephen Colbert rally-The March To Keep Fear Alive and March to Restore Sanity. It is a somewhat of a response to the Tea Party with a liberal twist. The only comical part of it is that rally attendees will not be making phone calls or doorknocking the final weekend of the campaign. Hopefully it will draw some attention to the current state of politics however I do not think it will sway too many opinions.

6 years ago this week

Boston Red Sox win the 2004 World Series...enough said. As for this year, Fox must be cringing about two teams from the West in the World Series between the Rangers and Giants. I myself am not really watching but I wouldn't mind seeing the Giants win. I would rather not see George W Bush celebrate any more than he will be on Election night.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Election Day is a few weeks out

We are just a few weeks out from the November 2 midterm election and people need to realize that no matter where you live it is important to get out and campaign and more importantly to get out and vote. Even Jim Moran, the Congressman in Arlington, is having a much closer race than in past election cycles and it has to do mainly with the possibility of low voter turnout-which has somewhat to do with the fact there is no presidential or statewide race for the 1st time since 1998. Democrats should not take any seats for granted or give up, Republicans cannot think that a most likely House or possible Senate takeover is a forgone conclusion either. It will make for a busy and exciting election night!

Miners rescued in Chile

All 33 miners trapped in the Chilean mine were rescued today. As much as they tried to keep the media away from it, it seems they find a way to provide extensive coverage of it no matter what. I found the miner rescue count on quite amusing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No hitter!

Roy Halladay threw a no hitter last night in his first postseason start with the Phillies. It is only the second post season no hitter in baseball history. However, I hope Philly fans don't get too carried away with this-they still have to win 10 more games to have full bragging rights. All Halladay has to do is give up a grand slam to (A-Rod, Jeter, or Cano) and opinions will change very quickly.

Westboro Baptist Church

Yesterday the Supreme Court heard the case of the Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas church that protests outside of military funerals that the death of soldiers is America's punishment for tolerating gays. I cannot predict how the court is going to rule especially since a liberal/conservative opinion dividing line is blurred. However, the Justices were responding to the arguments of Westboro very harshly. The decision should be quite interesting.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I have returned

Sorry for the hiatus. I have had a busy couple of weeks. I may have missed stuff but here is a quick recap of recent events that might be of interest:

Europe wins Ryder Cup-They won 14.5-13.5 over the United States this past weekend at Celtic Manor in Wales. It came down to the final match and Hunter Mahan could not get the half point needed against Graeme McDowell to win. Frustrating loss for the United States but it was a great competition overall and it isn't appopriate to express to much nationalism for this event.

Patriots improve to 3-1-The Patriots beat Miami on Monday night to improve to 3-1 on the season. It was good that in their first shot in the division they only dropped one divisional game and the New York Jets and Miami have to come to Foxboro near the end of the season-advantage Patriots although there are several tough games even before you get to December.

Campaign season in high gear-Every seat is up for grabs, I am making sure I do some door knocking in Arlington for Jim Moran who is in a closer than usual election. Be sure to vote on November 2!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pats lose to Jets

The Patriots lost to the Jets today 28-14 after leading at the end of the first half. I didn't get a chance to watch the game myself but it looks like it is back to the drawing board for the Pats while New York backed up their talk with a win. Maybe New York will get cocky and think they can wrap it up in September and won't realize that all the chips will be on the table come December-when they come back to Foxboro.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Primary Recap

September 14th was the last day of primaries in the nation now onto the general election in November. Among the highlights:

Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party candidate in the Republican primary, upset establishment candidate Mike Castle. The political world, including some Republican partisans, declared that it was a virtual lock that the Democrats would win/keep that seat. Having said that, Democrats, please still run that campaign hard. If this win left everyone shaking their heads, imagine if she did not role over and found a way to win the seat-remember what happened in Massachusetts? Let's not underestimate the Tea Party.

Vincent Gray defeated Adrian Fenty in the DC Mayoral race. I would always watch Mayor Fenty on TV and he never seemed like he could get to the point and dodged questions. There were always questions about the ethics of his office and his administration. I really don't know how much better Gray will be but it looks like he can bring a new type of administration to DC.

There were even some exciting hometown elections in Massachusetts involving people I know as well. First of all congratulations to my classmate Paul Adams for winning the (GOP) nomination for the 17th Essex House of Representatives seat. While I may not agree with his politics, I am thrilled to see a young voice and a classmate shaking up the political landscape. It is time for our generation to pick up the torch and have a real voice for our ideas. Also congratulations goes to my former colleague from my internship days with Marty Meehan Chris Doherty. He waged a great State Senate campaign in Middlesex County Massachusetts. I am sure he will have a bright future.

In addition to the Virginia races I will also be supporting Niki Tsongas who is the congresswoman in my home district. My first campaign was for her husband Paul Tsongas, a former US Senator from Massachusetts who ran for president in 1992. It is important to campaign for as many Democratic seats as possible to hold the majority in the House.

On to November, Democrat or Republican let the excitement begin!

Update on stuff

Gee, I didn't think I have been that busy but apologies for the lack of postings. Here is a quick update on things:

9/11-We will never forget and the Koran burning was called off. We essentially avoided an international crisis with that.

Ohio State beats Miami, Alabama beats Penn State, Michigan beats Notre Dame-There is still a long way to go but Denard Robinson could be the real deal. Ohio State survived an early test as well. However, they need to cover on special teams better. When the games get bigger, it is usually difficult to overcome big special teams plays.

Patriots win-Always good to get the season off to a positive start. You never want to be in a position where you have to win in week 2 to avoid starting 0-2. This weekend-the Jets, a traditional hate fest but this would also give them a huge leg up in the division.

Primaries-More on that in a later post. It has set the stage for November.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Burning the Koran?

A minister in Florida is organizing a Koran burning on the Saturday's 9-11 anniversary. This is wrong on so many levels. It is also during the end of Muslim Ramadan and during the Jewish High Holy Days. It will only fuel the fire and anti-American sentiment that lead to the attacks in the first place. When you have Obama administration, Department of State, Department of Defense and General Petreus condemning the actions out of concern for national security and American interests abroad you know that you are barking up the wrong tree. Religious leaders from all faiths are coming out against the actions. Authorities really need to step in and stop this from taking place in the name of what America stands for.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big Ten stays Big

College football season kicked off this past Thursday with a full slate of games this weekend. Ohio State began their quest for a national title with a convincing 45-7 win over Marshall. It is always nice to get the first game under your belt in college as you never know how things are going to unfold. Among the highlights this weekend include UConn's first trip to Michigan Stadium and of course Notre Dame opening up their season-I have been to their campus and had lots of friends who went there. It should be a great ride.

There was news this week from the Big Ten. Nebraska joined for the 2011 season bringing the total number of teams to 12-which meant the would separate into two divisions. There was talk that Ohio State and Michigan would move into different divisions and changing the rivalry dramatically-possibly moving it to the middle of October which would be like Santa Claus coming on Labor Day. They did wind up putting the teams in two divisions but said that they would continue to play on the last Saturday of the regular season. There might be a possibility that they would rematch in the Big Ten title game.

My thoughts on this is that this rivalry being played on the last Saturday of the season is a time honored tradition and kudos to the Big Ten for putting the interests of the fans over money in this one. The nature of the conference is that nine times out of ten a team will have to win on the final Saturday to earn a spot in the title game so a rematch of OSU-Michigan will happen once a decade at most. If it does, whats wrong with an extra OSU-Michigan game, especially if your team wins!

Standoff at Discovery Channel

On Wednesday there was a standoff and hostage situation at the Discovery Channel building in Silver Spring, Maryland. It was resolved by the end of the afternoon. Unfortunately the gunman died. He had a long history of protesting the cable station since it did not carry enough program discussing global warming. As far as I am concerned-give me a break! They carry shows that make people think a lot about the world around them and will inspire them to protect the environment. If you are looking for a place to protest, go to E! Entertainment Television or CNBC. At least the fatalities were minimal.

Monday, August 30, 2010

College football season starts Saturday

With this not being the Red Sox year, it gives me all the better reason to look forward to football season. College football season starts Saturday and in my family that is especially exciting as we have Big Ten ties. My cousins went to Penn State and my uncle went to Ohio State. Given how high expectations are for Ohio State (#2 in the nation) I cannot help to start dreaming of the national championship game in January. However there is still a long trip to get there. These days in college football there really aren't any cupcake teams anymore-not to mention the BCS computers. It will be a fun ride and with the way college football is-being the last team standing is especially rewarding. College football 2010-dreaming of the desert!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Katrina five years later

Today marks the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It was very surreal to see all of the events unfold at the time. One could only wonder where our world was headed with 9-11, natural disasters, and other unprecedented events that were going on.

A lot of people blamed George W. Bush and his incompetence for the failures of Katrina. However, it was such a complex and unprecedented disaster that required coordination at unprecedented levels, one can wonder if President Obama would have been able to do a significantly better job with handling the disaster. Obama had an advantage with a national network such as Organizing for America that would have been a first step in some level of organizing at the local level which could have communicated with emergency personnel about he situation, although their job is not to respond to emergencies.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Roger Clemens indicted

How baseball's great stars have fallen due to steroids. Roger Clemens, the legendary pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, has been indicted for lying to Congress under oath about using steroids. While Clemens might have been a polarizing player, this is very little debate over his behavior under oath. This was unbecoming of an athlete and charges should be pursued to the fullest extend of the law. It is important to send a message to younger people that doing drugs and lying to authorities is not acceptable and no one can get away with it.

Out of Iraq

This past week the United States ended combat missions in Iraq. I supported the war at the beginning, but then I realized that it wasn't the right mission as it turned into a quagmire wasting a lot of money and leaving many soldiers dead. At least it did depose a dictator but it did become a harbor for Al Qaeda so I do not feel that the war did anything to eliminate the threat of terrorism and tyranny. We should have been out of there a long time ago but I cannot complain now that we are no longer there. Hopefully the nation building phase will help to make it a more stable democracy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On The Mosque

The big story of the past few weeks has been the report of the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.

First of all it is not even supposed to be a mosque but rather, an Islamic center. Secondly, I think it is shallow to associate the Islamic religion directly with the 9-11 tragedy. The majority of Muslims are peaceful people and Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are mainly extremists.

If the leaders of the new center are moving there as a business decision (rent, proximity to target audience) they have every reason to move there. However, if they are doing it to make a statement then there is a problem. It is not like they are putting it right next to Ground Zero where they are planning on building the memorial and museum.

Also, the Obama administration needs to work on messaging. President Obama should not come out with an unclear statement and then have to go back and clarify it. This isn't the first time his communication did not come off the right way (see Henry Louis Gates).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Martin Kaymer wins PGA Championship

Chalk up another prediction that I did not pick. Martin Kaymer of Germany won the PGA in three hole playoff over Bubba Watson today. The championship was mired in some controversy as Dustin Johnson was disqualified from the playoff after he grounded his club in what was a bunker on the 72nd hole-another heartbreaking finish at a major after he collapsed at the U.S. Open in June.

This championship showed there is a new crop of talent taking over the game and they will be fighting for my attention (and major championships) over the next decade. Tiger Woods is now at the point where he is the victim of his own success. The players in their late 20s who took up the game around when Tiger burst onto the scene are coming of age. I sometimes wonder where I missed the boat.

It was another PGA with drama and I can hardly wait until next season where we see this new generation duel it out for the next set of major championships.

Storms and Fires

The rash of storms continued in DC/Arlington last week and affected me personally for once. The early morning thunderstorm last Thursday lit an underground electricity transmitter on fire that was right near my office building. It was evacuated and I was sent home last Thursday. The office did open on Friday. There was a storm near Washington's W Hotel on Saturday as well. However, with the storms it did cool down the weather for a short time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Four years in DC

This week marked my four year anniversary of arriving in DC. While a four year anniversary isn't significant, when it involves midterm election cycles (this will be my second midterm election here) a four year anniversary is fairly important. I recap my thoughts in this Facebook note. Here's to four more years here in DC!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

PGA Championship picks

Here we go with my final major championship picks of the year. This week is the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, an Irish style links course located right on Lake Michigan in Kohler, Wisconsin. This is the second time that it has been played there.

While the PGA has always been the red-headed stepchild of the four majors, with nothing that distiguishes it or makes it special, it has improved in course quality and, in some years, provides the highest drama of the four majors, particularly last year when an, Y.E. Yang, an unknown Korean player came from behind to knock off Tiger Woods.

This is a course that is not that well known to players so the safe bet is a dark horse actually winning this year's edition. Once I say that, it will be a top ranked well known player. Anyway, here we go with the picks.

Five favorites
1. Rory McIlroy-He is familar with this type of course coming from Northern Ireland and he is considered the "next big thing." It will be sooner rather than later that he breaks through and wins his first major.
2. Phil Mickelson-You would not think this course would suit his game, but he can be hot and cold so he might as well take over the World Rankings in stellar fashion.
3. Hunter Mahan-Two wins this year including last week at Akron, it would be good to see a rising American star complete the set of unlikely major winners.
4. Ernie Els-I expect he will solidify his FedEx cup lead in Wisconsin and this will be one of his last great opportunities to get the fourth major.
5. Justin Leonard-He had a putt to win in here 2004 and played strong in Akron. He should be in the mix on Sunday.

Five dark horses
1. Sergio Garcia-This is still the summer of Spain and I want him on this list when he wins.
2. Bo Van Pelt-Always on and off the leaderboards and I need to pick a legit dark horse at least once.
3. Jim Furyk-He has been consistent all year but has never been able to cash in when given an opportunity to win a second major but this will happen at some point.
4. Sean O'Hair-Also a consistent journeyman player that could break through anytime
5. Tiger Woods-His game is in shambles but still needs to be on the list. If he were to win it would not be a surprise either.

It all starts Thursday on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

back from Massachusetts

I just got back from a mid summer trip up to Massachusetts. When it gets really hot in DC, it is always nice to escape to the quiet neighborhoods of my hometown of Andover and spend time at the ocean. I was at the beach on the North Shore of Massachusetts where I had been going since I was a toddler. Vacations always come and go really fast but I guess there is always the next one to look forward to.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shirley Sherrod

What a travesty that the Shirley Sherrod case has turned into. She was an black woman and an official at the US Department of Agriculture that was fired for remarks she was seen making about not helping out a white farmer in a position she held 24 years ago. This case could not have been handled worse. First of all, the USDA could not have handled it worse, being let go without an improper investigation and not realizing it was more than two decades ago. Secondly, she said later that after consideration she did wind up helping out the white farmer.

It is ironic that an administration that consists of the first black president has had to deal with more hot button racism issues than other administrations. It shows that despite breaking the glass ceiling on race, we still have a long ways to go.

There should be some very swift action taken and it needs to come directly from the Oval Office in order to send a message to resolve this situation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun fun weekend

I had a great weekend despite it being really hot. Friday night we had happy hour in town and Saturday I went to the Young Democrats of America convention. Saturday night was really fun as we celebrated the birthday of one of my really good friends here in DC. We had a rooftop party and then went out in Cleveland Park. He really appreciated having all of us come out for him and said that the night was not for him but for all of us. That made the night right there! It is my turn to put on a good show in August for my big day.

Louis Oosthuizen wins British Open

This is not an Onion headline. Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa won the British Open by 8 shots last Sunday at St. Andrews, Scotland. Again, he was not on my list nor was he on anyone elses except the one that counts the most-his. He played that course better than most established veterans have ever played it. As for Tiger and Phil-disapointing performances at majors again. One can wonder if Tiger will ever reach that mark of 19 majors that many thought was his birthright. I am still holding out hope but with the parity in golf only getting greater it may just be a dream for him. Now I wonder if predictions are even worth the time and the energy? Another point-with all of the first time major winners, we are asking if they are just one hit wonders or could it be the birth of a star.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The oil well has been capped

Yes they have capped the oil well today. However no time to wave flags and start chanting "Yes We Can!" with the way BP has handled it. Hopefully this will be the answer and the environmental (and political) nightmare will be over at least for now. Stay tuned!

RIP George Steinbrenner

Even as a Red Sox fan I do have to pay my respects to him. He found a way to rebuild a dynasty in New York and took the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry to its highest level ever. Of course, the Sox finally got the upper hand but that would not have happened without the actions of The Boss. The best part of Steinbrenner were the Seinfield spoofs.

Wall Street Reform passed

The Senate passed Wall Street reform today. It is incredible that the Obama administration has made sweeping changes but my concern is how can you really enforce all of these-especially the day that the political climate and administration changes. There will also be legislators that will want to overturn some of these regulations. However, if any of the changes don't allow for a free market (but still play by the rules) economy I would support repealing any of the reforms.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010 British Open

Okay time for my British Open picks. This year's championship returns to St. Andrews Scotland, the home of golf. As I say every year it is unique as this tournament celebrates pure history and tradition-small historic English and Scottish towns, cramped hotel rooms, travel by train, and, for what it is worth, unspoiled seaside scenery and tradition links golf courses. Oh, and my favorite tradition, the plane from the John Deere Classic in the heartland to England and Scotland-there is no more a culture change than this.

Without further delay, here are my picks. Again, unprecedented parity in golf have made majors impossible to predict, I have yet to have a correct prediction since I started this blog and my expectations are not too high for this week. Links golf is even more of a crapshoot then other events because it is played in weather and course conditions that most players do not regularly deal with. I do not mind that as it shows there is a deeper talent pool in golf.

Five top contenders
1. Phil Mickelson-He has already won the Masters and the wide open nature of this course gives him the best chance to win a British Open. He also is on the lookout for No. 1 in the world. This isn't the Open he wants but he will take it.
2. Tiger Woods-Tiger has not been Tiger as of late but he is the two time defending champion at St. Andrews and a third would put him in a class by himself.
3. Lee Westwood-He has been knocking on the door at majors the last few years and will break through at some point.
4. Steve Stricker-He has the game primed to win a major someday and he has been consistent in terms of contending and winning tournaments. He won this past week at John Deere and this week he could get it done.
5. Ernie Els-Strong play at the U.S. Open and British is where he has his best record. He is positioning himself for an elusive fourth major and this could be his year.

Five Sleeper Picks
1. Graeme McDowell-Never look over the most recent major champion. If there is one title he wants more than a U.S. Open at Pebble, a British at St. Andrews would be the one.
2. Stewart Cink-It is his title until someone takes it away.
3. Sergio Garcia-Not playing well but Spain is on a roll right now.
4. Rory McIlroy-The next big thing. Not a bad place to break through than the British Open at the Old Course
5. Justin Leonard-I am still waiting for a second major from him.

It starts Thursday, should be a memorable week.

Spain wins World Cup

What I always thought about Spain is now true. Spain is on top of the world. They won the World Cup with a 1-0 win over the Netherlands in extra time. It wasn't the cleanest game but they found a way to win. There is not doubt I am sharing their excitement with them and it brings back a lot of great memories. The Spanish have found a way to lose on the biggest stage finally found a way to win. They will enjoy this for a long time. Viva Espana!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeBron James special

ESPN is doing an hour long TV special where LeBron James will announce where he will be playing next year. ESPN is a self promoting machine and giving a celebrity like him that kind of coverage is stooping to new lows. Shame on them!

First of all there are many other important things going on in the news right now where it is outrageous that he is getting this kind of coverage. It seems like I say this all the time. Additionally, he can talk about all the money he is making and if he goes to a large media market he will be larger than life. However Paul Pierce and company are holding championship rings and turned down money to try and win a second ring with the Celtics.

World Cup Final!

Spain has advanced to the World Cup final for the first time with a 1-0 win over Germany. Sunday's game is sure to be Spain's most exciting day-even more than any championship series or game in the United States. Whenever I am watching them compete in a sporting event it brings back a lot of memories from my time there. They will be taking on the Netherlands which is also making its first appearance. Let's Go Spain!

Heat Wave in DC

The last few days it has been over 100 degrees for a high in the DC/Arlington area and up and down the East Coast. Even the evenings have been in the 80s and low 90s at times. A lot of places are having power issues as everyone wants to run their air conditioning. I am fortunate that my apartment has air conditioning and pool. At least I am not getting ready to move at this time. Stay cool and drink lots of water.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

I want to wish all of my readers a happy and relaxing Fourth of July weekend. If you are in small town America or our nation's capitol, I hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend and take time to celebrate our great nation.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

RIP Robert Byrd

West Virginia senator Robert Byrd passed away this week at the age of 92. He was the longest serving U.S. Senator and was able to get a lot of federal money for one of the poorest states in the nation. He was also influential in helping pass health care reform and standing up for Democratic values. Although he was a Ku Klux Klan member, he was able to disengage from that group and change his views on racism and hate.

Russian spies

Russian spies were arrested in Boston, New York and the DC area last week. The ones living in the DC area were actually living in an apartment complex in Arlington in the next neighborhood over from where I live. Ironically, my last roommate left to do an internship in Moscow, Russia. I will certainly give him the benefit of the doubt and hopefully I won't get any calls from any curious FBI or CIA agents.


The United States went belly up at the World Cup against Ghana last week losing 2-1 in extra time (no surprise, I saw it coming) so now it is time to turn my allegiance to my adopted nation of Spain. They advanced to the quarterfinals and will play Paraguay on Saturday. They are one of the favorites to win the World Cup this year. Viva Espana!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

General McChrystal canned

General Stanley McChrystal has been relieved of his duties of command in the War in Afghanistan after making controversial remarks in a Rolling Stone magazine article about the Obama administration. Did he really think that he could get away with something like that as a general? He has given these responsibilities to General David Petreaus, former Iraq commander. I do not know if switching generals will be the answer, but saying stuff like that about the commander-in-chief and his "civilian" administration does not entitle you to be heading a war (if you can call it that).


The United States soccer team beat Algeria in the World Cup today in extra time. With this win they advance to the next round. Given that this is not even our game, they reached their goal and everything after this is gravy pretty much. Go U.S.A!!

U.S. Open

Graeme McDowell won the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He was the first unlikely champion at arguably the U.S. Open's crown jewel golf course. This adds to my streak of never having a winner on my list of contenders for a major when writing this blog. I really do not mind this streak as it shows there is parity in the game and this is not going to be Tiger Woods being chased by the rest of the pro golfers any more. Having said that, I am confident Tiger will break Jack's record of majors and that is the ultimate barrier to pass in professional golf.

Back from conference

I returned from the APPA National Conference yesterday. It was a tiring but rewarding week. I had a chance to meet the members and customers that I communicate with on the telephone every day and they enjoyed getting the chance to meet me as well. I had a chance to see the vendor expo that I help organize every single year. My main goal was checking in the vendors and answering their questions. It was important that I do this since I work on this aspect of the conference from start to finish. At the meeting, a 70th anniversary time capsule was unveiled and a documentary film (produced by two APPA staffers) was premiered. Nothing to newsworthy happened at the event. I also got to enjoy evenings out at restaurants meeting with members and vendors. I am looking forward to next year's conference in Washington, DC. I will get to take people I know to favorite hangouts and other places around the city. See you in Washington in 2011!

Friday, June 18, 2010

APPA National Conference

I am off to APPA's National Conference in Orlando, FL this weekend through Tuesday. There will be a lot of great presentations, a huge vendor expo (which I will be helping out with) and a lot of functions and other events. This is my first business trip and first conference, so I am looking forward to this.

Celtics come up short

The Celtics lost to the Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals last night 83-79. It was a great defensive game and the Celtics had the lead throughout most of the game. While it was disheartening to see them let a championship get away, to the Lakers of all teams, the Lakers weren't going to be denied on their home court. Additionally, they were without Kendrick Perkins and that played a factor as well, especially since the Celtics were outrebounded. This could be the last time we see the Big Three core together. There are also questions about whether Doc Rivers will come back as well.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

U.S. Open picks

Not really supposed to do this because the tournament is underway but there are my U.S. Open picks for the 110th tournament at Pebble Beach:
Top Favorites
1. Phil Mickelson-seems like something is in the cards for him to win this year.
2. Lee Westwood-He has come close, maybe this is the time.
3. Ernie Els-Two wins this year puts him on the top tier
4. Jim Furyk-He will add another major before his career is over
5. Tiger Woods-Struggling, but something to be said for a 15 stroke victory 10 years ago

Four that could surprise
1. Sergio Garcia-I want him on my list when he wins a major
2.Rory McIlroy-The "next big thing"
3. Justin Leonard-Strong and steady and has contended in some majors, maybe he will get a second one
4. Lucas Glover-Can't say that I didn't put the defending champion on this list
5. Y.E. Yang-Contended in Masters so PGA Championship win not a major fluke

Safety prediction-the winner will not be on this list. But if they are I will be happy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup

The World Cup began this weekend in South Africa. It is the first time this event has come to the African continent so it is really exciting for the nation and the continent as a whole. It would sure have made for an exciting trip to go to one of the games and then on a safari. The U.S. opened up with a 1-1 draw against England. Considering that England was heavily favored a lot of soccer fans were pleased with this outcome. While expectations are very high for American soccer, they still are not at the level with the rest of the world so and result like that against a team like England is very positive.

Alvin Greene

Amongst the victories by women candidates in the primaries this week there was a strange development in South Carolina. Alvin Greene ran for the Democratic nomination and got over 60 percent of the vote. However, he did not even run a campaign operation and when he was asked questions about it in interviews, he sounded like he was woefully unprepared to campaign in a general election for a U.S. Senate seat. At this point, even if he wins the seat, it would still be a loss because the Democrats would have someone in the Senate that is not ready to serve their state, country, and party. However it is difficult for the DNC or DSCC to tell him not to run because he did win a nomination and it would make the party look weak not having a candidate in the race.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Staying In Crystal City

Good news. It looks like I will be staying in Crystal City after all. A friend of mine had a lease end in June and my (now former) roommate got offered an internship in Moscow, Russia. He will be there for the summer. I wasn't ready to leave this neighborhood of Arlington just yet. Hopefully this time next year I be able to move to a "bigger and better" opportunity. I am not sure what that will be just yet.

Helen Thomas retires

Legendary White House correspondent retired from her position today (allegedly) after she made antisemitic remarks on a streaming video in light of the situation with the flotilla attack in Israel. She said that Jews should go back to Poland and Germany and leave Israel.

While there has been a lot of criticism on Israel's government, including a less than warm relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the reference to Germany and Poland (alluding to the Holocaust) is way out of bounds and unacceptable for a journalist, especially of her caliber. However, I hope it just puts a small dark cloud on her accomplishments and this is not her lasting legacy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Floatlilla raid

The Middle East conflict is back in the news once again as Israel raided a supply flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip. As with anything, this is an emotionally charged issue given the whole history of the conflict. I feel that Israel sometimes can act almost as belligerent as Palestine and still feel they have the support of free nations. However, when you act recklessly support like this usually drops quickly. President Obama, who campaigned on "hope" and "change" and got the largest percentage of the Jewish vote of any recent Democratic president, has wavered in his support of Israel. You know that you are in trouble when you cannot get full support from the President of the United States.

June at work

June is the busiest month at my job. We are getting ready for our National Conference in Orlando so things can be hectic. However, I get to go this year so the preparations give me a rush of excitement. I am looking forward to getting to my first national conference this year.

Celtics vs. Lakers

It is the Celtics vs. Lakes in the NBA Finals once again. The Lakers have taken an early 1-0 lead but as you know it takes four games to win a championship. The Lakers have home court but that really does not matter. I cannot really make a prediction now but all I can say is that it will be decided in 6 or 7 games. It is a double edged sword because I did not expect them here as the season was unfolding but when they get this far you may as well raise your expectations to the championship.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can lighting strike twice

The Celtics are leading 3-2 in the Eastern Conference finals against the Orlando Magic. However, with the way the last two games have gone, all indicators are pointing towards a major collapse after holding a 3-0 series lead. Game 4 saw the Celtics have several opportunities to win down the stretch and game 5 showed Orlando could have its swagger back and the Celtics really seemed to unravel. Game 6 will pretty much be a decider since the odds of the Celtics getting a win in a deciding Game 7 will be highly unlikely. One can wonder if two collapses like this will erase the good karma of the memorable Boston championships of the 2000s.

Super Bowl in New York

The NFL announced this week that Super Bowl XLVIII will be played in the new Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. It will be the first Super Bowl played in cold weather. Personally, I am a sucker for going to warm climates in the middle of the winter and that is a part of the allure and incentive of getting to the big game. However, it is okay just to shake it up for just this once. I don't think that other cold weather cities should get their hopes up as there can be a lot of logistical problems with having the game in cold weather climate which could get exposed in this game. Keep in mind the last Super Bowl was the weekend of the "Snowpocalypse".

Oil continues to gush

The oil continues to spill in the Gulf of Mexico. They are trying to put mud into the well so that it slows the spill and allow it to be filled with cement. The well is also a mile deep so that makes the entire procedure risky and not exactly a slam dunk procedure. My question is did they ever do any sort of a dry run exercise in the event that this happens.

Yes, I do not think the Obama administration is acting properly in doing this. They should be utilizing more of their engineering experts to assist in this effort. The government does employ rocket scientists, they should have someone that knows about undersea infrastructure. I do not think the corporation (BP) that dropped the ball on this should have this much authority over the the attempt to repair the oil pipe.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Catching up

Sorry for hiatus in posts. There is a lot going on with me. First of all it looks like I am moving out of Crystal City. I would like to get my own place and it is difficult to live close to the Metro and be by yourself. Once I have a new neighborhood you will be sure to let everyone know where the new adobe is.

The Boston Bruins blew it against Philadelphia last week. It wasn't the most heartbreaking loss in Boston sports history but blowing a 3-0 lead is a stigma any team or city will always have to deal with.

The Boston Celtics are one win away from the NBA Finals after going up 3-0 vs. the Orlando Magic. They are playing great right now and there is no reason to think they cannot win the championship, although the Lakers are going to be hungry this time around.

Primaries in Pennsylvania and Arkansas-The special congressional election in Pennsylvania at least did not open the doors for a potential Republican bloodbath, especially with a Democrat winning in a district won by McCain in 2008. However, with Arlen Specter losing in Pennsylvania and Tea Party candidate Rand Paul winning, it shows that voters are mad and both parties will have to do a lot to keep their incumbent candidates in office.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Boston playoffs

Boston winter teams are right in the think of the NBA and NHL Playoffs although they are entirely different positions. The Celtics are coming into form and are on the brink of knocking off the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James who were favored to win the championship.

The Bruins, on the other hand, had a 3-0 lead against the Philadelphia Flyers but they have come all the way back to force a Game 7. Given the stain that was put on the Yankees for blowing a 3-0 lead against Boston in 2004, this could go down as the biggest choke in Boston sports history. For Philadelphia, it could be the city's second biggest sports victory behind the Phillies winning the 2008 World Series.

Week Recap

Unfortunately late posts have become a habit but here is a recap of this week's events.

Elana Kagan nomination to the Supreme Court-I prefer someone that has bench experience but she has a good legal background and a confirmation process should not be drawn out too long.

Airplane crash in Tripoli-There was a sole survivor who was a ten year old boy. It is quite the miracle. It will be interesting to follow this kid's life and see what he turns out to be over the years.

BP Gulf Oil Spill-It is such a big disaster that no one wants to take the blame.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

British Elections

There is a lot of intrigue over the British elections that took place today. It is one of the most contested that they have had in years. It is slightly different from the American system of government where you are electing a majority party all at once where the prime minister is always the head of the majority party. In Britain, the prime minister serves as both an executive and a legislative leader. Could you really see President Obama debating on the floor of the House or Senate? I am pretty sure he is only allowed in a chamber for the State of the Union. Now I can see where foreigners take such an interest in our elections given the ramifications they have on international relations.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

warmest weekend of the year

The DC/Arlington area is having its warmest weekend of the year. No one is really complaining after the winter we have had. Plans for me include running, golf and now we transition from wine to beer and other summer drinks. I think this calls for hamburgers on the grill tomorrow!

Oil Spill

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is looking to be the largest in United States history. It could have an everlasting effect on the environment in that part of the nation. The gulf is known for a large seafood industry so that will be damaged and halted altogether. Although the human causalities were minimal, the economic and environmental impact of an oil spill like this could have just as far reaching an impact as a human tragedy. This also puts the development of offshore oil drilling on the hot seat. President Obama is calling for a 30 day delay before making any decisions on further expansion as a result. I am sure that the administration will scrutinize more carefully whether this is the answer to energy independence.

hockey playoffs

The Washington Capitals were stunned by the Montreal Canadiens this weekend losing in the first round after having a 3-1 series lead. You cannot really expect too much when it comes to Washington, DC sports in terms of winning and championships but this team was the best in the NHL all year so for loyal fans it was somewhat surprising. Fortunately the Bruins made it to the 2nd round so there is something for me to get excited about. They are playing Philadelphia so there is a good healthy rivalry in this series.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

NFL Draft

The NFL Draft came and went this weekend. Here are my thoughts:
Tim Tebow was drifted in the first round by Denver. Talk about getting hit by the "Mac truck" of reality. He goes from a situation from where he was treated like Jesus Christ to one where he will be in the shadow of none other than John Elway. Unless he can win Super Bowl(s) and have the same number, and lead the team in 4th quarter comebacks like number 7 did he won't ever be looked upon in the same light.

The Patriots showed a lot of arrogance by trading draft picks all over the place like they knew what they were doing. I really don't think after the disastrous playoff game they don't have a lot of deal making capital and they have to take advantage the best opportunities in the draft to do this. At least there is still time to make some free agent moves.

Arizona SB 1070

The Governor of Arizona signed into the SB 1070 bill this weekend which would allow law enforcement to question the immigration status of anyone in the state by asking for ID randomly. Critics of the bill say that it would encourage profiling by officials. I understand where they need to crack down on those crossing the borders. However, there should be some cause to check an immigration status rather than just randomly. I believe this bill will be amended as time goes on as the State of Arizona will need to make sure it is effective. Having said that, I am sure that it will go to the Supreme Court because the basics guidelines could severely encroach on civil liberties.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oklahoma City bombing 15 years later

Fifteen years ago today the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by domestic terrorist Tim McVeigh killing 168 people. At the time it was the worst terrorist attack on American soil and it was especially saddening that Americans would do something like that. Make no mistake that our biggest terror threat is the Middle East, however with the polarization in government that we are seeing one can wonder if it can escalate to a more serious and deadly level of violence.

Most importantly, it is important to honor the memory of those that perished in the attack.

Boston Marathon

Today was the 114th running of the Boston Marathon. This is always one of my favorite sporting events of the year and would always get excited about watching it as a little kid. It seems like almost every year I know someone that is running in it. This year one of my high school friends/classmates ran it in 3 hours 11 minutes, 7 minutes 26 seconds per mile pace. I cannot picture myself running shorter distance races at that pace. I am quite impressed with that!

There were several runners that could not get over to run due to the volcano eruption. That must be a disappointment given the training that goes into it. Overall it is always a special day in Boston. As for the Red Sox game that day, they better not play themselves out of the race this quickly.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tea Party

The Tea Party came to Washington with another one of their protests and this time there was no 5k road race to distract them! It is fairly obvious they are a fringe movement that most voters usually do not take seriously when they go to the polls to vote. However the organization and message have gotten so much press attention, (added to that it is a growing movement) the Democrats need to be very concerned about their role in the upcoming election. The tea party is going to add to campaign operatives, influence message, and actively campaign and endorse candidates in close elections. Message to Democrats-don't discount the Tea Party.

Volcano plume

A volcanic eruption in Iceland is spreading ash across the skies in Northern Europe causing flights in six continents to and from Europe to be cancelled as they cannot fly through volcanic ash. This is frustrating as there are not that many flights from Europe to other parts of the world as there are to the United States.

At this point it is mostly northern Europe that is affected. Cities like Madrid, Rome and Athens aren't at this point. My question is why they can't send more flights to cities in Southern Europe and then require travelers to take trains. Europe has such an effective rail system that taking the train from one city to another is not a major hardship. It might result in taking overnight trains but if that is the alternative travelers will have to deal with it. is it possible for any of the flights to circumvent the Great Circle Route or does the ash travel not make a difference?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Phil Mickelson won the Masters on Sunday with a dominating three stroke win over Lee Westwood. He had a birdie putt on 12 and a clutch second shot from the pine needles on the 13th hole. This win had huge significance as he has had to take care of his wife and mother as both have been battling breast cancer. You could say this win was "for the family" as Jim Nantz put it. It was also his first major since he melted down at the US Open in 2006. Many had wondered if he would go into a downward spiral as far as the majors were concerned after that collapsed. While I would like to see him win a US Open, no matter what happens this will always be significant and he will definitely go down as one of the best in the game with four majors, three of which are Masters titles.

Tragedy in Poland

Condolences to the people of Poland and those of Polish descent on the death of their president Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 42 government officials. It happened near the site of the Katyn massacre, where Polish soldiers were killed by Russians. They were going there to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre. My initial thought on the tragedy was why there were so many government officials on board. One has to wonder about the continuity of the Polish government.

Family in town

The family came to town this weekend. Although they missed the cherry blossoms the weather more than made up for it and they always appreciate being in DC and seeing the monuments. It is something you do not get to do in Northern Massachusetts. We saw the monuments and Ted Kennedy's grave as well as ate at our favorite restaurant, Old Ebbitt Grill. It seems like many of the stuff we do is deja vu but at least we have set plans. I myself don't have time to plan an elaborate trip. We capped it off with dinner at Crystal City Sports Pub and watched the Masters. More on that in a later post. Weekends like this go too fast but we can always look forward to the next one.

Confederate History Month

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell declared April to be Confederate History Month in order to celebrate the fight of the Confederacy for states rights and sovereignty and have a slave economy. First of all acknowledging this dark moment in our history is taking a huge step back in a state that is making a lot of progress. Secondly, in his declaration he failed to mention slavery which implied that he is recognizing their right to have a slave society. Slavery was huge stain on American history and should not be celebrated or recognized by any administration. Great job taking us back, Governor McDonnell.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Opening week of baseball

Spring is here and baseball is back! Everyone is optimistic about a trip to the World Series. October is a long ways off but not time to worry about that-after a long winter we can enjoy nice weather and being outdoors!

National championship game

The national championship game in men's basketball featured Cinderella Butler, playing in their hometown taking on perennial power Duke. It seemed as if the stage was set for a historic finish with a mid major conference finally winning a national championship. Butler stayed with Duke for the entire game and had a chance to win with a mid court buzzer beater attempt which rimmed out. Duke won 61-59 to give Coach K his fourth national title. While a lot of people are were heartbroken, Butler set the bar for mid majors and they will continue to be a major factor in the NCAA Tournament. I believe that someday one of them will break the glass ceiling and win a championship.

Week in review

Sorry for the lack of posts. It has been a busy week. Here is a recap of various news events that have happened over the past week.

Obama Allows for Offshore Drilling-This doesn't surprise me. Although he broke a campaign promise, he did not break another that being reaching out to Republicans. I believe some steps need to be made to reduce our dependence on offshore drilling and this, unfortunately for environmentalists, is one of them. While he had a victory on healthcare, nothing is guaranteed for votes on energy and other initiatives that he wants to get through. He will most likely need Republican votes in order to get these done.

West Virginia mine tragedy-This is sad with 25 miners dead. Although mine safety has come under scrutiny there is little that you can do to ensure safety that far deep into the earth. One will wonder if this century Americans will reduce their dependence on coal.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Final Four is set

The 2010 NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis is all set. It will include Duke, West Virginia, Butler, and Michigan State. Butler will be playing in its home city six miles away from its campus. If they were to win they would be the first mid major to win a national title and it would change the college basketball landscape forever. Duke has returned to prominence as a usual national contender and they may even be the team to restore order to college basketball. Michigan State, although they are a low seed, always seems to make noise come March and them winning the title would not be a surprise and given how strong the Big East has been it would almost be be appropriate if they won.

Personally, for anyone to make the case there is parity in college basketball it would necessitate Butler winning. With all the excitement that March Madness brings one of the top contenders usually rises to the top but a mid major winning the title would change that.

Spring holiday time

This last week of March begins yet another spring holiday season. I always enjoy being able to celebrate Easter and Passover at the same time of the year. They are usually intertwined with various March/April sporting events like Opening Day, the Masters, the NCAA Final Four in both basketball and hockey. They are both low key holidays that don't usually require travel, extensive food and party preparation, and are not spread out over a long period of time (i.e.) the holiday season. The weather usually cooperates as well. Whatever you celebrate, Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and happy spring.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reaction to healthcare passage

While this is an exciting time in United States history and I am especially glad to be living in DC while this is all happening. However I may not be feeling the same way if I was on the other side. The anger by those that are upset about the reforms scare me a lot. One can only wonder whether it is setting the stage for a more volatile movement then the TEA party. Maybe you can actually wait and see how this is going to affect the system before starting to threaten lawmakers and their families with violence and death threats. Do any of them realize that they are actually committing a criminal offense?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jefferson Jackson dinner

I went to the Jefferson Jackson dinner with the Arlington Young Democrats for the first time this past weekend in Richmond,VA. It wasn't the marquee event that it has been in years past but there were some great (and humorous speeches) particularly by keynote Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Best of all, I got to have a fun time with all of my AYD friends and we took some great pictures too. We were even intrigued by some of the historic monuments near the State Capitol building.

March Madness lives up to the hype

The first weekend of March Madness did not go to form by any means. The overall number one seed, Kansas got knocked out in the second round and Cornell made it to the Sweet 16. There were several buzzer beater games and my pool took a little hit (like everyone else). However Ohio State is still alive and there is still a possibility for one prediction to come true-Evan Turner appears on "One Shining Moment".

Healthcare-law of the land

The House passed the Senate version of the health care reform bill yesterday making comprehensive health care reform the law of the land. This is very exciting and historic given how hard the Democrats have fought for this for years and even harder for the past year. Given that Ted Kennedy fought his entire career for this and watch it finally happen was really special. Most importantly, President Obama campaigned on the platform of hope and change on his way to the White House. While the American people waited, sometimes impatiently, for this we are starting to see the wheels of change in motion with the passing of this historic legislation.

No one know how the politics are going to play out in November or how this will affect the lives of Americans in the next decade but I feel there will be a shift away from the early prognostications. I also believe it will improve the lives of all Americans. Yes we can!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness

As mentioned in my last post, Andover High Girls basketball team played on Saturday and won. As for more on the big March Madness, here are my picks.

Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and Syracuse got the four number one seeds with Kansas getting the top overall seed. My picks for the Final Four are West Virginia, Kansas, Duke and Syracuse despite Syracuse's lackluster conference tournament. Kansas has the most difficult road to the Final Four with Ohio State and Georgetown in their region but like many experts, I feel they have the most complete team to come out of this bracket and make it to Indianapolis.

As for Ohio State, the committee was not exactly sold on them neither giving them a number one seed but putting them in the region with a hot Georgetown team and the top seed of Kansas. If they wind up coming out of this region (particularly over Georgetown and Kansas), the Final Four berth will be well earned.

What I like best about the tournament is that every game has the same stakes, whether it is the first round game or the national title, if you let down your guard the season is over. If I were a coach I would treat each game with the same intensity and preparation. Many may remember how close Kansas came to losing to Holy Cross in 2002.

Having said all of this, this year's field is wide open and I am expecting a lot of surprises. Let the Madness begin!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Andover High Girls Basketball

No matter where you go, you never forget home. This weekend the Andover High girls basketball team will be playing in the state championship in Worcester, MA. The program began their success while I was in high school and have consistently been one of the best teams in Massashusetts year after year. They won the state title in 2003 and have played in the title game 4 times. This is when the alumni "come back" and relive their high school days. Unfortunately that is a sacrifice you make when moving to another part of the country. I will be cheering in spirit. Lets go Andover!!

Kansas City Schools closing

The Kansas City Public School system will be closing almost half of their schools in light of budget problems. While laying off teachers or compromising books and other educational materials is not the best way to solve the problem, I hope they have significant statistics to deal with a decrease in population to back up this decision otherwise they are going to be dealing with severe overcrowding and potentially greater loss of students (and citizens) as they will look for alternatives, which could include moving to other municipalities and/or finding the means to go to private, parochial or charter schools.

Great AYD Date Auction

I am decompressing from a successful Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) Date Auction last night. We had an great turnout and raised plenty of money, half of which goes towards the Arlington Food Assistance Center. There were several people there that I knew from other circles that were very pleased with the organization, entertainment, and atmosphere (some of whom it was their first AYD event). I am sure it will give the rest of the year a lot of momentum especially for other events and groups (like the Careers and Networking Group). Thanks to everyone who organized, volunteered, and attended. Special shout outs to Gordon, Lauren, and Brian for taking the lead on the event. This now adds to the people that get shout outs on my blog.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nomar Garciparra retires

Former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra retired today. He signed a one day contract so that he retired as a Red Sox. I am pleased about that but it will always feel a little empty that we had to give up our most popular player to put in place the team that would win the 2004 World Series and their first in 86 years. If nothing else, he was a major part of a winning tradition that planted the seeds for that incredible run.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shooting at Pentagon Station

Last night a deranged man fired shots at the Pentagon Metro Station/Transit Center last evening injuring two offers. The gunman himself died. As crazy as it was how I found out about it was even more crazy.

I was coming back from the gym to my apartment (not taking the normal route as I had to go to the bank ATM) and ran into a friend of mine who does not live in my neighborhood on a street corner. When I asked him what I was doing he told me that he heard shots while waiting for his bus at the Pentagon and he ran from the area and was looking for a cab to get home. I inviting him back to my place to get a cold drink and watch news updates. We then grabbed dinner at a nearby diner. It was disturbing for me as it was the first time I had seen someone after they witnessed a violent crime. All of us are okay so that is what matters. Credit to law enforcement for quick action and even sacrifcing their personal safety in defense of the most important military institution in the nation.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kid in control tower

An air traffic controller brought his kid into the control tower at JFK Aiport a few weeks ago and not only did he stay up there he gave instructions to flights taking off (with the aid of his father). This is really scary that a kid would have some level of control over flight operations. This was bad judgement on the father's part and he should be disciplined if not fired. This is a matter of airplane safety and a child should have no part in the operation.

Great first AYD Careers and Networking event

I had a great first AYD Careers and Networking event on Tuesday evening. I mainly introduced the group, got some advice on what attendees would be looking for, I previewed upcoming events, and gave attendees the opportunity to review their resumes. I am going to have events with other professionals but for now this is a great start. We even got a press inquiry which did not pan out but exceeded all of our expectations. Thanks to AYD and our chapter president Gordon for giving me the green light to organize this group.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

Another earthquake disaster struck the Western Hemisphere this time in Chile. It was an 8.8 magnitude that set off tsunami warning across the Pacific. This was the largest earthquake I can remember. I had a friend who studied there and I can relate to a tragedy in a place that is special to you like that. Fortunately the nation is much more prepared for earthquakes. The best donation opportunity is to the American Red Cross at

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hockey game for the ages

The U.S.A. and Canada played a hockey game for the ages today with Canada winning 3-2 in overtime off a goal scored by Sidney Crosby. Both teams played well but for Canada not to win this on home ice it would have just been a lifetime of "what if?" since this was the one medal that really mattered. The interest (especially on the American side) was amazing and it should help grow hockey on this side of the border.

This now brings the games to a close. It is always a letdown give that there is two years of hype building up to the Olympics but always exciting to see a new city welcome the games and look forward to the next installment. The London 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be here before you know it and I hope to attend as I have never been to London and I want to return to Europe ten years after by study abroad experience there.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic recap

Here are a few highlights from the Olympics:

Kim Yu-Na won the gold medal for South Korea in figure skating. Although she didn't go for broke like Sara Hughes did in Salt Lake City, she had an unbelievable performance given the circumstances, especially since a gold medal was at stake and she was under a lot of pressure from here home nation. Also an inspirational performance by Joannie Rochette just a few days after her mother passed away.

Team U.S.A. men's hockey will be playing in the gold medal game on Sunday (and will gurantee themselves a medal). The dream matchup would be versus Canada but either way go U.S.A!

There are many more exciting stories as well. Congratulations to all of the Olympics athletes for another memorable Olympics with a few more stories left to be written.

APPA Leg Rally

Sorry for lack of posts. It was a busy week. The association I work for, American Public Power Association, held its Legislative Rally Conference this past week. This events brings members into Washington, DC to vote on various resolutions and prepare for lobbying visits with members of Congress on the Hill. This year we had Tucker Carlson as the keynote speaker at our lunch and presented Senator Byron Dorgan from North Dakota with a public service award. This was followed by a skit based on the Wizard of Oz-which made for a good laugh. There is always a lot of buildup for the conference and while there isn't excessive preparation, you have to be on your toes and I am glad it is completed. I will be going to the National Conference in Orlando this year which I am looking forward to.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


The United States men's hockey team beat Canada 5-3 this evening. It was a great game where both teams played at a high level and even the announcers got excited while they were calling the game. No medal was at stake but there was a lot of pride on the line. It is refreshing to see these guys not think about their six figure salaries for a few weeks and play with a lot of heart and passion that comes with representing your country. The level of play and talent is such high quality that it is hard to dislike any of the teams but you have to root for someone and everyone roots for their country. Lets go USA!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow aftermath

The DC/Arlington area has had a reprieve from the snow over the past few days but it is still very difficult to get around places. The sidewalks are not fully shoveled out (which can cause a lot of problems for those that have to walk in the street) and several roads are not fully plowed out. In some cases the snow may not go until it finally melts. From a somewhat self centered perspective it will be a while before I will be able to run outside, but that could be a moot point considering I have had to stay clear of sidewalks in some places because they have not been shoveled. The major question is the level of responsibility businesses/government/residents have. Unfortunately it may take a sad situation before policies are defined and implemented.

Update: Arlington residents (especially Arlington Young Democrats) aren't waiting until Opening Day of the baseball season for the snow to melt. We know it could cause problems if it is not taken care of. Check AYD's President Gordon speaking at today's County Board meeting via The Green Miles (

Back from Florida

I had a great time in Florida and the weather was warmer than anything we had in DC over the past week or so. My mother rented a place for the month so we all decided to stay there. I got to see my grandparents and spent a lot of time with my immediate family as well. We went out to eat a few times took a few excursions, particularly to St. Armands Key and Lido Beach, a favorite destination in the Sarasota area. It seems like places like that never really change over the years. Overall, I was lucky to get down and hopefully it will be an annual visit.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vancouver 2010

The 2010 Winter Olympics are underway in Vancouver. I always get very excited about the Olympics as it is not just the world's most important sporting event but the premier global event and for two weeks, everyone's attention turns to one particular city, whether it is a small winter resort or a major city and, most importantly, the athletes that are participating in them. Early thoughts.

It was a sad tragedy what happened to the luger from the Republic of Georgia. Sometimes you have wonder whether competition standards are being sacrificed for safety. However, I thought that the Games and the IOC handled the situation fine. It was appropriately recognized that the Opening Ceremonies.

The Opening Ceremonies were great. The lighting was of quality where having it inside did not diminish the event at all. However, the situation with the Olympic cauldron was inexcusable. For those that did not see, part of the setup malfunctioned and they could not light all of it. However, these Games had a second torch (since the cauldron has to be outside and visible in the city) and that made up for it. The torch lighter was hockey legend Wayne Gretsky.

Hello from Florida

Yes I am a blog dork. I am actually writing while on vacation in Florida. After two attempts to change over my flight due to the second February 10 blizzard I finally got to Sarasota on Friday, this time flying through Fort Myers. The weather is not typical Florida weather, high 50s to low 60s but much warmer than DC and no snow so I really cannot complain. I have had a chance to go to old stomping grounds such as St. Armands Circle (large shopping and restaurant area) as well as Lido Beach. Some of these places really do not change over the years despite all of the other advances we have made. It has been good to see family as well. I will be looking forward to getting back to DC as I have a lot to catch up on.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More snow

The DC/Arlington area is supposed to get approximately 10 more inches of snow tomorrow and it will end on Wednesday evening. This is on top of the two feet of snow that came this weekend. Many neighborhoods still have not dug out from last weekend's storm. I still have not been back to work this week at all. Having said this, I am still keeping my fingers crossed that I can fly out Thursday. While the storm will have ended, cleanup is so slow that the airport may not be ready for regular service. By the way, it is in the 50s in Florida which is a little cool for this time of year but I will not be complaining. Keep warm and stay safe!

Monday, February 8, 2010

No work today

Washington is trying to dig out from this weekend's storm and I did not have work today. The Metro still isn't even running above ground yet. This is a concern for me because I am going to Florida on Thursday and would like to get some work off the plate before I take off. We are also expected to get a few more inches of snow on Tuesday. They have not determined exactly how much but one can only wonder where it will all go. It is interesting how snow removal can be such a nuisance but in a few months said snow will not even exist.

Super Saints!

The New Orleans Saints won their first Super Bowl last night defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17. The game was much closer than the score indicates. It seemed as if it would be another inevitable Super Bowl win for Peyton Manning and Indianapolis throughout the first half. Then the Saints decided to go for an onside kick that really turned the momentum. While they did not hold on to the lead after they scored the touchdown off the kick, Indianapolis did not realize they were actually in for a game. The final blow came when Manning was driving for a game tying touchdown in the fourth quarter and he was interception and it was returned for a touchdown for New Orleans instead.

What surprises me is that no team has come back from being down 10 points in a Super Bowl. With the new age passing offenses I am sure that record will fall at some point. My favorite commercial of the night was Betty White. As far as the Tim Tebow commerical, a lot of hype over nothing as it was not a soap box moment. However, if you want to get something done, write or e-mail your elected officials instead of squealing over a Super Bowl ad spot.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow continues to fall

We are getting a very strong and serious snowstorm here in the DC/Arlington area and across the entire mid-Atlantic. We could get approximately 30 inches when all is said and done. The highways have limited access and some of the exit ramps are not even open so basically the order of the day is to stay home. The post office is not even delivering mail today. There will be a lot of clean up and digging out over the next few days. It will be interesting to see if I can get back to work on Monday. Some are considering this the equivalent of the Blizzard of 1978 in New England which is a very high level storm comparison. It is fairly surreal to experience a storm like this in DC. This would be expected in New England.

Super Bowl Pick

Okay. A (quick) interruption from snowpocalypse 2010 to bring you my Super Bowl pick. Yes, there is a big game tomorrow in Miami between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. Here are the factors that I will consider:
-Indianapolis will be playing with an injured Dwight Freeney. You have to have a defense on all cylinders to stop New Orleans. That will be a huge factor.
-Peyton Manning is bound to have a choke moment on the big stage. This could be it.
-New Orleans is looking like a team of destiny and they could end with a fairy tale story.
-I think the Super Bowl will be close with a lot of offense.

Okay here is the pick: New Orelans 34, Indianapolis 31

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More snow!!

If you thought that last week was Snowpocalypse II, we were wrong. There is another storm coming tomorrow that is supposed to deliver up to two feet the DC/Arlington area. The line was halfway down the grocery aisle at the supermarket today. I even stocked up for the Super Bowl on Sunday because it would be almost impossible to get out as the roads would not be cleaned up. What is interesting is that municipalities are already over their snow removal budgets and this is a role of the towns and cities that has to be done no matter what. It will be interesting to see where they find the money to maintain this. It would be safe to call this one Snowpocalypse MMX (2010).

Scott Brown sworn in

Scott Brown was sworn in as Massachusetts senator today. This was a week earlier than planned but I think it is good for the process. At least there is not any backroom stuff going on and he gets to work right away. It will be interesting to see how when he chooses to side with the Democrats (if at all) and when he sides with the Republicans. If he says that he sits in the "people's seat" as he dubbed it in his campaign he has to listen to the voices of those that elected him. Massachusetts sent a loud message, they did not necessarily want a Democrat or Republican they wanted change and see that Congress gets things done. Otherwise, there will be much more dramatic change in November and possibly in 2012-can you say President Palin and Vice President Scott Brown?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowpocalypse II

We got four to eight inches of snow today in the Washington DC/Arlington area. This was not as bad as the Christmas storm but still enough to paralyze the city. It is a good day to get a lot of indoor stuff done and relax. I was watch the golf tournament from San Diego today and remembering when I was visiting there this time last year. I cannot complain as I will be in Florida in a few weeks. The temperatures will remain cold so the snow probably won't melt anytime soon.

The snow did not keep President Obama from getting to the Georgetown-Duke game. It is good to see him get out but it can make for a lot of criticism. He even did play-by-play with the CBS announcers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama in Tampa to promote the TGV/AVE Florida style

After the State of The Union speech, President Obama went to promote funding for high speed rail in Florida and to be at a groundbreaking for this. It is about time that Florida considers building high speed rail. Florida is arguably the world's most popular tourist destination behind Europe (regionally, not as a city). One of the draws of Europe is that all the cities are connected by a broad train system and tourists visit multiple cities on one trip. Why not Florida? How many people go to see Grandma and Grandpa on the coast and then go hang out with Mickey Mouse in Orlando. It would be easier to take the train from their respective city to Orlando/Lake Buena Vista/Kissimee.

Additionally, not all of the local airports have as many flights as the larger ones. For example my grandparents live in Sarasota on the west coast. I can get a flight from Regan National (next to my apartment) to Tampa nonstop but still have to take a shuttle which does not run that frequently to Sarasota. Why not have the option of boarding a high speed train for less money and more comfort and convenience that will take me right to Sarasota? We cannot overlook the environmental cost as well, less rental cars on the road and more fuel efficient trains would have better environmental consequences.

State of The Union

Thoughts on the State of The Union. As always, President Obama is one of the best orators of our generation and he brings his own humorous flair to his speeches at times. He laid out bold initiatives which I hope he can follow through on. If there is not any significant action in the next few months the Democrats can expect a bloodbath in the November midterm elections. Also, he needed to allude a little bit more to recent Republican victories, particularly in Massachusetts, which showed the anger of voters and a need for Washington to deliver on the change that was promised in 2008. As for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, having a State of The Union response in front of the General Assembly showed he was taking a piece out of Obama's playboo with a "center stage." Let it be a warning the big stage is what McDonnell and the Republicans are after.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One year anniversary

While this isn't exactly accurate, I would like mark the one year anniversary of Boston to Washington. A blog that began with the inauguration of Barack Obama has told stories of trips to the West Coast, followed a promising local campaign very closely, welcomed a new roommate to Arlington, broke down golf tournaments, and commented on all the important events in sports, politics, and pop culture that I thought were important. It has been a great year and I cannot wait to see what I will be writing about in 2010.

Super Bowl XLIV

It seems like I am always late with post but the Super Bowl hype week has begun. It will be the Indianapolis Colts vs. the New Orleans Saints in Sun Life Stadium in Miami, FL. Indianapolis came from behind in the AFC Championship game to beat the New York Jets 30-17. It will be Peyton Manning's second Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints advanced to their first Super Bowl by winning in overtime 31-28 over the Minnesota Vikings. Minny had a chance to win it in regulation but Brett Farve threw an untimely interception at the end of the game. It was yet another heartbreaking loss for a franchise that has never won a Super Bowl. Having said that, this is a great story for a city that has suffered so much over the past few years and is still recovering. Considering that many thought this would be a game between two undefeated teams, I expect this will be a classic matchup. For some it maybe the commericals or halftime show, but for me it is all about the game and I want nothing less than a good one!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shameless self "promotion(s)"

What was expected to be a busy 2010 is living up to the hype and then some. I just received a promotion at my job to membership coordinator, which means I am the point person for a lot more stuff and will be responsible for a lot more projects and marketing plans for the association. I am excited to finally be making my first career move since graduate school. If you are interested in knowing more about APPA and its opportunities, feel free to contact me.

I have also agreed to be the Careers and Networking Chair for Arlington Young Democrats. I had been working on a similar group with a friend of mine. In a twist of fate, one of my close friends (different person) from AYD is now the president expressed interest in bringing this type of programming to the organization and I agreed to run the program. It is interesting how these things work out! If you live in Arlington, VA and would like to get involved, feel free to visit our group on Facebook at "Arlington Young Democrats Careers and Networking."

Supreme Court ruling

This past week the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case regarding campaign finance reform that will allow corporations and other types of organizations to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. A few years ago I worked at an organization that did work as a watchdog of political contributions from businesses. It was alarming to see the some of the lack of policy and oversight regarding this type of activity. I feel this will be watered down even more now that the high court ruled there are no limits on this.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scott Brown wins MA US Senate seat

Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown (R) won the special Senate election to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy defeating Martha Coakley. This is a stunning victory and congratulations to the campaign for their victory. A few takeaways:

-Coakley did not run a campaign acting as she was entitled to this seat. She even took a Caribbean vacation during the campaign. Ted Kennedy would have wanted his successor to campaign hard for the seat. MSNBC said that she thought they took the vote for granted-something you do not do in any election
-The 09 Virginia elections and this race is showing that voters aren't seeing the change that was promised in the 2008 presidential campaign. There better be some legislative action and it better be bipartisan or else the floodgates are about to open for the GOP