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.