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Looking to save money… I would suggest doing this…..

May 25th, 2016

I am sure every one of us knows who Jake from State farm is and the cute Gecko on the Geico commercials. Both of them, in their own way, say they can save you money. Well last month I got my home insurance bill and I must say I was surprised at the amount. I spoke to a few friends and the next day reached out to a few referrals. All the companies were quick to not only get back to me but also lightening quick to give me a quote on my auto and home insurance together.

At the end of the day I switched from Allstate and went with Farmers Insurance. Yes, cost was an important part of the decision but the deciding factor was really the customer service I got from them over the other companies and saved over $2,410 annually!

Yes that number is correct. Interesting to mention that I have never filed a claim on my home/car insurance the ten years I was with Allstate and I was very surprised at how high they were.

So if you are looking to save a little money, I would suggest making a few phone calls for your auto and home insurance.

  1. Have you done this recently?
  2. How much did you save?
  3. How was the customer service?
  4. Any surprises during the process?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Did you hear about the latest new beverage – Rougie’s Red Punch…… I say no……

May 23rd, 2016

A few weeks ago there was a lot of interest in baseball because of the Jose Bautista bat flip retaliation from last October. To set the stage, the bad blood between the Rangers and Blue Jays goes back to the American League Division Series last season won by Toronto, in part, thanks to Bautista’s three-run home run and subsequent bat flip in the seventh inning of Game 5. Yes the stage was at the highest level but (in my opinion) it was the worst bat flip in the history of baseball and really irritated a lot of players on the Texas Rangers.

Speed up to 7 months later. The Rangers hit Bautista, ground ball to Beltre, a low throw to Odor, a late slide by Bautista, a push, and the now famous punch by Rougned Odor. I love baseball but I am not a fan of brawls. Never have been and never will be. I am a huge fan of teams playing hard not dirty.

I understand there are a lot of creative people out there and I even thought myself that this might be an opportunity for a beverage called the Odor Punch. I was hoping not, but it did happen.

The Texas Rangers’ farm team is selling a drink named after the Rougned Odor’s punch.

The Frisco RoughRiders are selling a new energy drink containing alcohol called Rougie’s Red Punch. It will be available for a limited time at Dr Pepper Ballpark’s Bull Moose Saloon. It costs $5.15, which was the date of the punch and comes in a commemorative cup featuring an image resembling what the RoughRiders called ‘Odor’s iconic punch.

I realize that companies need to find a way to sell product but I really don’t like this one. I believe this promotes something that shouldn’t happen in baseball.

  • What are your thoughts?
  • Do you like the idea?
  • Do you like fighting in baseball?
  • Did you think the bat flip was overboard?
  • Was the retaliation right by the Rangers?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What I now think I know about the NBA playoffs?

May 20th, 2016

A few weeks ago I posted comments about the NBA playoffs and clearly was off base on what I said. Well here is my second chance with only 4 teams remaining in the hunt for the NBA Championship!

  • Toronto has no chance to beat the Cavaliers unless three of the Cavs starters get hurt. The Raptors had a really nice year, time to concentrate on signing their free agents and making the team better for next year!
  • The Cavaliers are really starting to figure things out. LeBron has been amazing, but if Kevin Love continues to make 3’s and Irving plays at a high level, they have the depth to go all the way. The Cavs will be in the NBA Finals for sure!
  • Golden State is a very interesting pick. Yes – they have the two time MVP and a very strong cast around him. If we get a rematch from last year I don’t believe the Warriors will be crowned the champion. I have said it for a long time that they don’t win this year and I am sticking to that prediction.
  • Next up the Thunder! WOW – two superstars and a very talented roster that is getting better. The emergence of Kantor and Steve Adams allows them to play big whenever they want and that will vault them into the NBA Finals.

So what am I really saying?

  • The Thunder beat the Warriors in 6 games.
  • The Cavs sweep Raptors.
  • The Cavs, behind LeBron James’ playoff MVP trophy, win it all in a great 7 game series against the Thunder!

Now your turn.

What do you think will happen?

I look forward to reading your comments.

A thank you is usually only for a person… not today!!!

May 18th, 2016

I am sure during the day all of us say thanks many times. For me, it could be a big thank you for waking up my kids and not having it take a long time or perhaps thanking a stranger for holding the door or thanking a cashier, waiter, or thousands of other examples.

Today’s thank you is very different. Not sure I have ever done this. But here goes.

I want to thank DFW airport! I know you are probably saying to yourself why? What’s wrong with him? If you were saying that I wouldn’t disagree with you but hear me out for a minute.

I want to thank DFW Airport for a number of reasons:

  1. For being smart enough to make it the most efficient airport I have ever traveled thru. Most airports are deep and you need to walk forever. Miami, Las Vegas to name a few. DFW is wide, has a ton of security checkouts, and typically the walk to your gate is less than 30 seconds.
  2. The concourses are huge. Terminal D is so big and has to be 10 times wider than Logan Airport or any of the airports in the Northeast.
  3. They are always looking to add relevant stores and restaurants. In the last six months they have opened a number of decent restaurants and the first ever 7 Eleven opened in an airport location.
  4. And a huge thank you for somehow adding Coke as a beverage choice in vending machines, restaurants, and other stores. For as far back as I can remember the only place you could buy a Coke was at McDonalds and it was a fountain drink. That has all changed and I am really excited about that!
  5. They are always looking for ways to make it an easier and nicer experience for their customers. Over the past few years they have renovated terminals and enhanced the parking experience with red/green lights about parking spots. If you see a green light there is a spot for you which really cuts down the wasted time to look for a spot and keeps the frustration level at a minimum.

So DFW Airport thank you on a job well down! Keep up the great work.

  • Would you like to take a moment and send out a non-traditional thank you?
  • What do you think about my thank you?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Baseball fans this will be the best seat in the house….

May 16th, 2016

As many of you know I grew up in Boston. For as far back as I can remember I would always go to Fenway Park. My dad split tickets with his best friend Mr. K and that was our father/son thing we did. We went to Fenway Park week after week and at the end of the season it seemed like we went to 40 games.

Over the years Fenway Park has gone thru a ton of renovations. They have added seats in the upper deck, expanded a number of other areas, and now have the Monster Seats. Which means, a few hundred lucky people get to sit on top the green monster every game. I have been fortunate enough to sit there and the experience is special.

Well I have another idea for the ownership of the Boston Red Sox. In fact, I believe it is a MILLION DOLLAR IDEA! Here is what I am suggesting.

What if they built 40 seats inside the Green Monster? Each seat would be $500 which based on over 81 games is $1,620,000 per year. I don’t pretend to be an engineer but for sure, if they did this, all the seats would be 100% safe. In addition, the area would be constructed so it wouldn’t impede, in any way, the batter’s view of the ball. Couldn’t you picture the interaction between the left fielder and the fans during a pitching change or between innings?

What do you think?

  • Am I nuts?
  • Wouldn’t these be the best seats in baseball?
  • Would you pay $500 to sit inside the Green Monster?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. Check out me and my buddy Paolo cheering them on from the new Green Monster seats!

Does this sound familiar …. Does this lead to a really cool promotion?

May 13th, 2016

Recently I have heard more and more discussions around how many steps a person has taken each day. I actually had two strangers see that I had a Fitbit on and asked me where I was for the day. A few times I even said to my friends, let me guess how many steps I think you have taken in a day. Does all this lead to the next big marketing promotion or betting trend in Las Vegas?

Are we a few months away from being able to guess how many steps Rafael Nadal took during a tennis match in Wimbledon? So basically if you asked Rafael or any tennis player to put on a Fitbit prior to a match and asked fans to text their guess and the winner would get a signed shirt, gift certificate, or whatever… I would suggest that thousands of people in the stadium or hundreds of thousands of fans watching TV would sign up for this.

If I am right, this may also lead to Vegas establishing proposition bets on how many steps were taken in a match. Yes this could apply to other sports as well like basketball, football, volleyball – the difference is it would probably be a chip instead of a Fitbit that you wear on your wrist.

Okay…

  • Am I crazy or could this really happen?
  • Wouldn’t this be a great promotion?
  • Would you text your guess and sign up?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. – I think this would be such an inexpensive marketing promotion that someone should do this right away!

Time to build a list of restaurants that I wish were at the airport.

May 11th, 2016

Last week, as I was walking thru the Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport I noticed they had a food court and the next thing I knew I was eating at Pei Wei. To me this was perfect. I love the food, the freshness, the quality, and the speed of a regular Pei Wei and was curious – could the airport duplicate all of that. Even though they had a limited menu the experience was solid and exactly what I had hoped for. Of course, this gave me reason to pause and think of other restaurants that I would love to see in an airport.

Before I give you my short list I want to say that I understand customers have limited time and it is possible that some brands don’t want to be in an airport. With that said, here is my list:

  1. Jersey Mikes – fast, really good food and great bread!
  2. Les Madeline – quick, light, delicious food that you can eat all day.
  3. In-N-Out Burger – Every airport needs a good burger joint and none better. Although I do think the lines might be too long!
  4. Dairy Queen – I can always use a cone. Ok perhaps a little too messy.

Okay, your turn.

  • What do you think of my choices?
  • What restaurants would you like to see in an airport?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. Since I haven’t been to every airport, it is possible these restaurants are already in some airports.

Kobe I have a message for you…

May 9th, 2016

  • 5× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2009–2010)
  • 2× NBA Finals MVP (2009–2010)
  • NBA Most Valuable Player (2008)
  • 18× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2016)
  • 4× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011)
  • 11× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004, 2006–2013)
  • 2× All-NBA Second Team (2000–2001)
  • 2× All-NBA Third Team (1999, 2005)
  • 9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003–2004, 2006–2011)
  • 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2001–2002, 2012)
  • 2× NBA scoring champion (2006–2007)
  • NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1997)
  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997)
  • Los Angeles Lakers all-time leading scorer
  • Naismith Prep Player of the Year (1996)

Short and sweet THANK YOU!

  • Do you have a favorite Kobe story?
  • Is there a particular play that reminds you of Kobe?
  • Have you ever seen Kobe play in person?

I look forward to reading your comments to Kobe.

Yes I spent 30 hours in Omaha, NE and here are a few things I came away with…..

May 4th, 2016

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a city that I had never been to before. My travels took me to Omaha, Nebraska for a CEO conference hosted by Phil Terry, followed by attending the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting?

I didn’t know what to expect but here are a few things that I came away with:

  • The people couldn’t have been any friendlier – in fact, one of if not the friendliest city I have ever visited.
  • Even though it was cold and rained during pretty much my entire visit, it seems like it is a walking city and has statues everywhere.
  • The TD Ameritrade Park is home to the College World Series. The capacity is less than 35,000 and seems to be a special place to attend the game.
  • Having never been to any shareholder meeting I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am sure none are like this one. The Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting was attended by over 40,000 people that saw it live and simulcast in different local hotels. In addition, Yahoo was streaming it for the first time and I am sure millions watched it.
  • Warren Buffet at 85 and Charlie Munger at 92 are intelligent, sharp as a tack and couldn’t possibly be any funnier!
  • Berkshire Hathaway is built on one thing and one thing only – culture. The home office has 26 people in it and none of the companies they own are required to fill out budgets, reports, or anything like that. They only work with people they trust and have very little turnover.
  • Warren & Charlie appear to be best friends, are great storytellers, and love to eat peanut brittle. They were on stage for over 5 ½ hours and must have consumed a few boxes of the treat.
  • The exhibit hall is not to be missed. The Hall is filled with companies they own and significant partners of theirs.

My time in Omaha was short but very special.

  • Have you been to the city?
  • What are your impressions?
  • Have you attended the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting?
  • Did you enjoy the experience?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Live! With Kelly and __________? You tell me.

May 2nd, 2016

I am sure by now all of us have heard that Michael Strahan is leaving Live! With Kelly and Michael and joining Good Morning America. The question is, what will the new show be named? Who will replace Michael Strahan?

So I ask you what would you do?

To level set, Michael was paid around $11,000,000 per year so let’s assume that will be enough money to draw interest from a lot of people.

Here are a few things to consider. Do they want to replace Michael with another man? Will he be an athlete? Will he be about the same age?

I will start the ball rolling. To me, they will replace Michael with a man but I am not so sure he is an athlete. With that said, I will hedge my list…here are 5 names that, if they asked me, I might consider:

  1. Tyrese Gibson – Worked work well with Kelly, big strapping good looking guy who seems to be very intelligent and could handle most topics.
  2. Jason Sehorn – Good looking, former NY Giant player, well spoken – no one is mentioning him so perhaps a darkhorse.
  3. Adam Sandler – I Am a big fan and since these are my thoughts – why not!
  4. Jay Z – Very famous, always in the spotlight in New York and would bring an edge to the show.
  5. Billy Crystal – I think Billy would be great for a few years. Hysterical, big time following, amazing contacts, and a New Yorker!

Okay, your turn:

  • Do you watch the show?
  • What do you think of my list?
  • Who are some of the people you think they should consider?

I look forward to reading your comments.