Mid-town Manhattan is pictured from the top of the United Nations building in New York

I now reside in Delaware, where our offices for ASAP Warranty are located, but I’m a New Yorker at heart.  Growing up and spending the vast majority of my life in Brooklyn, and most of my family still out there, I was closely following the ‘huge’ storm that was approaching this week.  It was being broadcasted that New York would receive up to three feet of snow.  It was so bad that a travel ban was set after 9:00 pm Monday night across many cities on the East Coast.  NBA games were canceled, heck even WWE’s Monday Night Raw was canceled in Connecticut, for the first time in over 1,100 episodes.

When it was all said and done, yes, Boston received plenty of snow, but New York City received six inches tops.  There are now estimates that this error by tons of meteorologists costs the North East over one billion dollars!!  Think about that, the fact that everyone buckled down for this ‘storm of the century’, and all cars and public transportation were closed down, Manhattan was at a standstill.  While that had to be quite eerie, to completely shut down the commerce of the biggest city in the United States is a big deal.  How these weather people miscalculated so badly is beyond me.  Of course the sophisticated models for predicting weather improve constantly with technology, but to be that far off on the forecast is hard to believe!

Its unfortunate that the weather men missed this one, because it makes you wonder if when the next “storm of the century” is forecasted for Manhattan if Mayor de Blasio and other authority figures won’t be as aggressive with transportation bans, thus putting lives in jeopardy.  I sure hope all of the meteorologists learn from their mistakes this time around, so that next time this happens people can be prepared properly, and not have what ended up being a false alarm and shutting down the greatest city in the world when it wasn’t necessary.

 

My New York Knicks are on a tear of a two game winning streak after losing 16, yes I said 16, games in a row.  When Carmello Anthony came to town, I think I can speak for all Knick fans in thinking that the franchise was about to move in the right direction.  We even lured in Phil Jackson for an astounding $10M a year to help out, but we seem to be going nowhere but down!

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the way that the NBA is structured.  If you aren’t going to be in the hunt for the NBA Championship, it makes sense to be very bad (just ask Philly) in order to attain a top draft pick.  Unlike football where you have 22 guys on the field for offense and defense, basketball has a grand total of 5.  If you pick up one exceptional player from the draft, it can change your franchise for years and years.  The problem I have is that New York is the biggest city and therefore biggest market in the United States.  To have a team that loses 16 games in row and is barely competitive is an embarrassment.

I long for the days where we had guys like Charles Oakley & Patrick Ewing taking up the paint.  I vividly remember where I was at when John Starks threw down what I believe still should be considered the greatest in game dunk in history.

Watching that clip again and seeing how bonkers Madison Square Garden went actually made me sad.  The Garden hasn’t gone crazy like that probably since ‘Linsanity’ a few years ago, and we still didn’t make the playoffs that year.

I really do have trust in Phil Jackson and know that he has his heart in the right place, and wants to put the pieces in place to turn the organization around.  Those things can’t happen overnight, but as a fan, its just so difficult to watch a proud team look the way they look right now.

There was a story earlier this month that spoke about Carmello Anthony speaking with Knicks brass as to potentially shutting it down for the rest of the season because of a sore knee.  My eyeballs about fell out of my head as I read that.  In what other profession can you make over one hundred million dollars and then be encouraged to not do your job, while you still get paid?  I understand the Knicks are looking for that draft pick, but what about all of those season ticket holders who pay their hard earned money to see the team play at home 41 times a year, and now their best players is just going to sit out the last half of the season because his knee is sore?

It seems as if the NBA needs to think long and hard about revamping their lottery rules.  Right now, it is undoubtedly encourages teams to lose.  What good could that possibly do, other than alienate your fan base?  I know it angers this long time once proud Knicks fan.

Nike Coin Flip

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch a ton of college football, but was excited to see how the first College Football National Championship would play out.  I have to say, I thought it was outstanding.  First of all, it made for extremely exciting New Years Day games.  Since there were no teams from the North East, I had no rooting interest in the games, and just got to sit back and watch as a fan.

The Rose Bowl has always been a big deal, but has since lost a bit of its luster since coming in to the BCS era.  That was not the case when Florida State went up against Oregon.  It was great to see the sun setting in an old iconic stadium such as the Rose Bowl, and then see the amazing speed of Oregon simply take over Jameis Winston and the Seminoles.  After Oregon’s performance with their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Marcus Mariota, I didn’t see an way they could be stopped in the championship.

On the flip side, you had SEC powerhouse Alabama taking on Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.  On a personal note, I have a dear friend, who didn’t even attend Ohio State, but quite possibly might be the most passionate, yet obnoxious, Ohio State fan on the planet.  Therefore, I think my body was subconsciously rooting for the Crimson Tide.  Alabama jumped out to an early lead, and it looked like I wouldn’t have to hear from Bob all week, but Ohio State stormed back for a 42-35 victory.  What I heard from Bob via email that week, wasn’t anything compared to after the national championship game!

Having the finals at Cowboy stadium in Dallas was a great idea.  I was fortunate enough to take a tour of the stadium during a business trip, and it was unlike anything I had ever seen before in my life.  The sheer size and luxury of the stadium, not to mention the video boards, is something you have to see in person to believe.  Pictures do not do it justice.

Thus, it had to be special for both the players and fans of the two schools to have such an important game in an amazing stadium.  I barely made it home from work for the kickoff, but the game did not disappoint.  Also, since the game was on the ABC family of networks, one of my favorite comedians, Jimmy Kimmel appeared on the show picking out some of his favorite signs from the game, and selected a nice dig at Ohio State’s coach, Urban Meyer as his favorite.

Farmers Only

The spectacle of it all was quite exciting to watch.  I know there was much controversy as to whether a playoff would be good for college football, and you would have to think that this was a resounding success.  The only downside is, that I will have to listen to my friend Bob for a full year about the success of ‘his’ Ohio State Buckeyes.

Next year is going to be a big one for ASAP Warranty.  I wanted to put my goals in writing before the year ended so I can look back and see what we accomplished.

Our goal for 2015 is to double our staff and become an industry leader in offering vehicle protection plans to our loyal customers.  We have a lot of work ahead of us to make this happen.  We plan on working on an overhaul of the website, as well as some new product offerings.  I have all the confidence in the world in our staff to help us get to where we want to go.

While growing a business will create a bunch of work, I personally want to do a better job of separating my work and my personal life.  Yes, there are times when you have to deal with work issues at night, but I want to make a whole hearted effort to leave work behind at 8pm each night until the next morning.  I know that taking a stance like this will be difficult, but at the same time, it will not only lead to better health for me, but will cultivate the relationships I have with my family and friends.

I also would love to find time to visit the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas next year.

atlantismain

From what I have seen online and read, the aquariums, waterslides, and grounds are some of the neatest things on earth.  I would love to try to get out there next year.  I’m hoping if I write it down now, I can make it a priority to make the trip next Fall.  I’ve been talking about it for years, and now just need to pull the trigger.

Lastly, I’d like to be a bit more healthy in 2015.  Whether it is just getting outside and going for a walk each day, getting back into jogging or playing basketball with my cousins, would be great to try to sweat at least once per day.  Life is too short, so we need to take care of ourselves while we are here.

2015 is going to be exciting, I can’t wait to see what happens and can’t wait to look back next year at this time and hopefully see that I have accomplished all of my goals.

My name is Michael Hakim, and I have decided to use this new site as a place to speak to both my work as well as some of of my hobbies.  I am currently the President of ASAP Warranty, here is Wilmington, Delaware.  When we came up with the name, ASAP stands for American Standard Auto Protection, and we provide service faster than about anyone in the space, so we felt ASAP fit the company ethos perfectly.  We are also among the industry leaders for providing the highest level of protection for your automobile while keeping competitive prices.  It has been an honor to grow ASAP over the last few years, and I couldn’t have done it without our incredible staff.

Even though I live now in Wilmington, I grew up in New York, and a huge Big Apple sports fan.  While it was sad to see Derek Jeter go this past season, it was an honor to follow him for the last 20 years, and a true representative of the great city of New York.  We’ve been through the bad times, the great times, and now back to the bad times with Derek, I hope he decides to stay on with the organization, and I look forward to the Yankees building back up to be on top of the baseball world.

derekJeter

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for my dreaded Knicks.  We had all hoped that when Phil Jackson agreed to come home, the franchise would be put back on the right track.  Unfortunately that didn’t take place right away, but I’m holding out hope  The only bright spot for the Giants this year has been the coming out party of Odell Beckham Jr., but of course we have to stay positive.

Besides being a huge sports fan, I also love comedy such as Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel.  Unfortunately, getting older, I’m not sure about staying up late enough each night to watch them, but I always enjoy a good laugh, and they are as good as anyone in the business.

Lastly, on the weekends, I love to spend time on the grill, or smoker, depending on my moods.  There is nothing like a perfectly cooked brisket, and I am constantly trying to accomplish just that.

Over the next months, I hope to be writing about each of these topics, and hope you come back often.