Monday, October 4, 2010

The Final Quarter

October begins, the final quarter of 2010. To me seeing October on the calendar means it should start getting cooler, time to get out the sweater vests, the Lions’ season is already over, the Wings’ season is just beginning, and of course the dread of all dreads time to think about Christmas. How much money do I plan on spending? Do I buy any gifts for coworkers? Could this be the year to forget about Christmas cards? Then the miracle answer comes to me, gift cards! Okay, stress and anxiety are done, now what am I going to be for Halloween????

RIDE SHARE WEEK – For all you practice what you preachers October 4-8 is Ride Share Week.

GAY CANDIDATES - AP: “Just three of the 535 members of Congress are openly gay, and two Democratic candidates running for the House hope to inch that number up to five. David Cicilline (sis-uh-LEE'-nee), mayor of Providence, R.I., is running to succeed Patrick Kennedy. In California, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet (poo-NYAY') is trying to knock Republican Mary Bono Mack out of the seat she has held for 12 years.”

PAYING MORE AT DUNKIN'? HERE'S WHY - AP reports, via USAToday: “Coffee prices hit a 13-year high last week, extending a rally that has sent prices up about 43% in the past three months. Coffee for December delivery settled up 2.25 cents at $1.9455 a pound Wednesday after hitting $1.9865 per pound earlier in the day. … The impact of the months-long climb is leading to higher retail coffee prices on several major brands, including Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts and Millstone. Last week's rally appears to be largely due to speculative trading because fears have eased about weather and supply issues”

COULD '10 BE WORSE FOR DEMS THAN '94? Mark Halperin e-mails elaboration on a “Morning Joe” prediction: “Based on the current national environment, the enthusiasm gap, the state of the economy, the failure to materialize of a lot of what Democrats were counting on (health care law getting more popular, and 'recovery summer' taking hold), and polling in individual races, on the current trajectory, with no unexpected intervening events, Republicans are in a position to pick up as many as 60 seats.” Swing needed for control: 39 seats. GOP netted 54 seats in '94.

WOMEN MAKE FEW WORKPLACE GAINS - NYT's Catherine Rampell reports: "Women made little progress in climbing into management positions in this country even in the boom years before the financial crisis, according to a report to be released on Tuesday by the [GAO]. ... As of 2007, the latest year for which comprehensive data on managers was available, women accounted for about 40 percent of managers in the United States work force. In 2000, women held 39 percent of management positions. Outside of management, women held 49 percent of the jobs in both years. Across the work force, the gap between what men and women earn has shrunk over the last few decades. Full-time women workers closed the gap to 80.2 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2009, up from just 62.3 cents in 1979. Much of this persistent wage gap, however, can be explained by what kinds of jobs the sexes are drawn to, whether by choice or opportunity."

THE MOST INTERESTING THING the administration's doing that you're not following (unless you're Teddy Downey) - USA Today cover story, "As for-profit colleges rise, students question value -- Critics: Some schools mislead on accreditation," by Mary Beth Marklein: "In 2008, about 2,000 for-profit colleges ... enrolled nearly 1.8 million students - an increase of 225% in 10 years. About 9% of all college students now attend for-profits; most attend schools owned by one of 15 large, publicly traded companies that each enroll tens of thousands of students. Last year, federal student loans and grants made up an average 77% of revenue at the five largest for-profits. Advocates of for-profit colleges say their programs, which often operate online or in rented office space, serve a key role in educating students who juggle work and family demands. But the U.S. government has stepped up its scrutiny amid growing concern that for-profits are reeling in billions of dollars in federal aid by using aggressive ... practices to lure students to programs that might not yield a useful education. The Education Department has proposed penalizing for-profits whose students graduate with more debt than they can afford, and Congress began a series of hearings this summer on whether federal aid to for-profit colleges - more than $24 billion in 2008-09 - is being put to good use."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Fred Couples (51), Brett Favre (41), Karen Hasse …famous tennis star, Mario Lemieux (45), Yo Yo Ma (55), John Mellencamp (59), Steve Miller (67), Annika Sorenstam (40), Dick Tracy (79).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/9, Michigan State Spartans (5-0) ranked 17 @ University of Michigan Wolverines (5-0) ranked 18, 12:30 ET, Big Ten Network. The Spartans march into The Big House playing inspired football, Michigan by 5 points…I cannot believe I am saying this give the points and take the Spartans of East Lansing, sorry Dad.
Season to date (5-0).

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/10, New Orleans Saints (2-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-2), 4:05 PM ET, Fox. The Saints offense has been poor thus far, are the Cardinals a contender this year? We shall see. Saints favored by 4 points, give the points and take the Saints in the desert. The Swami needs a win here – poor start to the NFL season.
Season to date (1-3).

SMALL COLLEGE PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/9, the tailgates will be rocking outside Ortmayer Field, Occidental Tigers (2-1) @ University of La Verne Leopards (0-3), 4:00 PM ET, Discovery Channel. The stars will be in proper alignment this Saturday, The Leopards will pull the upset 21 -17.
Season to date (4-0).

NHL 2010-11 PREVIEW – Another season begins for the best sport in the world. Eastern Conference winners: Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Washington; Western Conference winners: Detroit, Vancouver and Los Angeles; Stanley Cup finalists: Washington & Detroit; Stanley Cup Champions – Washington Capitals.

RINK RATS DOG WHISPERER – When you walk your dog, does your pet lead you? This is incorrect; your pet should follow you when going for a walk, you are the boss.

STOCKS UP EVEN AS SMALL INVESTORS FLEE - WSJ's Tom Lauricella reports: "The ability of stocks to rally-even though small investors headed for the exits-came as a growing chorus of bulls noted that corporations are going in the opposite direction. They have been selling bonds at a furious pace and, with a record level of cash in their coffers, many analysts believe they will start ramping up purchases of their own stocks. ... Now, many are now looking to the November U.S. elections to resolve uncertainties about tax policy and government regulation. That, they say, could be the catalyst for corporations to start putting that cash to work, if not through stock repurchases then through dividend increases, mergers and acquisitions, or increased capital spending. ... Reflecting the narrow buying interest behind the rally, the gains came on extremely low trading volumes. Traders say the third-quarter rise in stock prices, concentrated in September, came mainly as hedge funds lifted bets put in place to help protect portfolios should stocks fall."

FIRST MONDAY OF OCTOBER – The Supreme Court begins today and for the first time in American history three women are members of the court. Can you name them?

Next week, a fall garden check list.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
October 4, 2010

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