Monday, February 28, 2011

How Do You Spell Relief?

JACKASS OF THE MONTH – Our Jackass this month is Moammar El-Gadhafi, like all hair coloring, money stealing dictators he continues to hang on while his country suffers. You may have noticed reading the news recently, that there is no agreed upon way to spell the name of the current Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi. The controversy is well illustrated by a May 1986 letter to Minnesota second graders; the leader signed his name in English "Moammar El-Gadhafi." The AP reported the event, "Second-Graders Get Letter From Khadafy." In 2009, ABC News listed 112 different ways to spell Gaddafi, which have appeared in various news outlets. The leader's name was even the topic of a 1981 Saturday Night Live sketch, offering the most creative spelling a one-way ticket to Tripoli.

The explanation, you may have read, is due to discrepancies transliterating Arabic. While true, this is not the whole story. Gaddafi (Google's most frequent spelling) is spelled القذافي in Arabic. The first letter "ق," qoph, is pronounced as a "k" sound and usually transliterated as a "q." Likewise, the second letter of his name, thal, "ذ," is pronounced as a deep "d" or "th" ("the" not "with") and transliterated "dh." Given these standardized spellings, the Libyan leader's name should be spelled "Qadhafi."

The reason the most common spelling of Gaddafi begins with a "g" is due to the Libyan dialect, which pronounces qoph like a "g" sound. English translations of Arabic leaders names generally are consistent with their local dialects, rather than standard translation. The best example of this would be late Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser. His first name beginning with a jim "‫ج‬" would be traditionally transliterated Jamal. Instead, the Egyptian pronunciation of his name is the norm for English transliteration.

But please just get out.

HOW TO AVOID A REVOLT: COLD HARD CASH - "King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced financial support measures, worth an estimated SR135bn ($36bn), in a bid to avert the kind of popular unrest that has toppled leaders across the region. ... The measures include a 15 per cent salary rise for public employees to offset inflation, reprieves for imprisoned debtors, and financial aid for students and the unemployed."

ANOTHER WAY TO SPELL RELIEF (FUNDRAISING) – Certain 3 ½ day work week administrators should take note of this instead of borrowing money to keep up with the times: $172.1 million raised in St. Lawrence University’s seven year Momentum Campaign.

Over seven years, gifts to Momentum St. Lawrence made possible:
- Creation of 45 new endowed scholarships for students
- Funding for 28 University Fellows, students selected to pursue independent research with faculty mentors
- Six new endowed professorships
- Additions and enhancements to facilities, including the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Johnson Hall of Science; the Sullivan Student Center; the Diana B. Torrey '82 Health and Counseling Center; Steiner Senior Townhouse residences for students; Pub 56, a social gathering space; new space for student radio station KSLU and performance venue Java; arts facilities throughout the Noble University Center, Peterson-Kermani Performance Hall most notably; athletic facilities, such as North Country Field, Leet-Hall Stadium and locker/meeting rooms for football.

A new program still being developed is the New York City Semester, designed to allow students interested in finance or arts management to study and live in New York. Fund-raising is still in progress for the program, with an anticipated start date in the spring 2012 semester.

Specifically, Momentum St. Lawrence raised:
- $51.5 million for the University's endowment; $41.1 million for facilities; $20.9 million for program enhancements; $37.2 in support of the St. Lawrence Fund; and $21.4 million in undesignated bequests or trusts; unrestricted gifts; gifts-in-kind; and miscellaneous gifts.

Congratulations, all higher education institutions should take note, this was accomplished during a recession.

OSCAR REPORT: List of 83rd annual Oscar winners - AP: 1. Best Picture: 'The King's Speech.' 2. Actor: Colin Firth, 'The King's Speech.' 3. Actress: Natalie Portman, 'Black Swan.' 4. Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, 'The Fighter.' 5. Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, 'The Fighter.' 6. Directing: Tom Hooper, 'The King's Speech.' 7. Foreign Language Film: 'In a Better World,' Denmark. 8. Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, 'The Social Network.' 9. Original Screenplay: David Seidler, 'The King's Speech.' 10. Animated Feature Film: 'Toy Story 3.' 11. Art Direction: 'Alice in Wonderland.' 12. Cinematography: 'Inception.' 13. Sound Mixing: 'Inception.' 14. Sound Editing: 'Inception.'

15. Original Score: 'The Social Network,' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. 16. Original Song: 'We Belong Together' from 'Toy Story 3,' Randy Newman. 17. Costume Design: 'Alice in Wonderland.' 18. Documentary Feature: 'Inside Job.' 19. Documentary (short subject): 'Strangers No More.' 20. Film Editing: 'The Social Network.' 21. Makeup: 'The Wolfman.' 22. Animated Short Film: 'The Lost Thing.' 23. Live Action Short Film: 'God of Love.' 24. Visual Effects: 'Inception.' Previously presented honorary Oscars: film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, director-producer Francis Ford Coppola, director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Eli Wallach.

SHOW STEALER – Oscar presenter/show stealer Kirk Douglas, St. Lawrence Class of ’39, was one of the few fun moments to Sunday’s Oscar telecast.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Mario Andretti (71), Harry Belafonte (84), Mikhail Gorbachev (80), Peter Jacobsen (57), Madonna (47), Retired Cardinal Roger Mahoney (75).

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Friday 3/4, #9 New Hampshire Wildcats (19-7-6) at #2 Boston College Eagles (24-7-1), 7:30 ET, NESN. The playoffs are beginning in the CCHA and ECAC, but in the Big East the regular season continues. Jerry York’s Boston College team, fresh off a Beanpot Tourney victory host the visitors from Durham. We pick the Eagles to win at Chestnut Hill.
Season to date (2-6).

NHL SEASON THREE QUARTERS REPORT: Top five teams at this point in the season: 1). Vancouver Canucks, 2). Detroit Red Wings, 3). Philadelphia Flyers, 4). Tampa Bay Lightning, 5). San Jose Sharks. Top five worst teams at this point: 5). Florida Panthers, 4). Colorado Avalanche, 3). New York Islanders, 2). Ottawa Senators, 1). Edmonton Oilers.

THE LAST ONE - Frank Buckles, the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110. Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died peacefully of natural causes early Sunday at his home in Charles Town, WV. Buckles lied about his age to join the army at age 16. The Missouri native was among nearly 5 million Americans who served in World War I in 1917 and 1918.

PART III: GRANADA REPORT – Niece Alex B. writes about her studies this term in Granada Spain. Now into her second month we continue her saga.

Another topic of Alex’s is the Alhambra. “It is an old Moorish fortress that we toured. In Arabic it is translated to “the red one” and was used as a small city when the Moors were in power and then later added on to by the Catholics in 1492 when they took over. It was unofficially named the 8th wonder of the world and definitely Granada’s biggest claim to fame (other than being the only Spanish city that still gives free tapas). It is absolutely gigantic and takes about 4 hours to tour completely. Part of it is a palace for the sultan, fortress for the royal family, and living quarters for the public, political, and private sectors. Also there is a summer home for the royal family and gorgeous gardens all around it. The Alhambra was also made very famous from all the literature written about it. Washington Irving wrote a very popular book called “Tales from the Alhambra” and Hemingway has written a ton about it too. Both authors lived in the Alhambra at some point and we actually saw Irving’s room on the tour.”

Alex and her fellow students are now traveling to Barcelona, Madrid and to Carnival in Cadiz. We hope to get further reports of her experiences.

Next week, dining in the desert.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
February 28, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Budget Gaps

Among all the bad news about state budgets, there are four bright spots: North Dakota, Alaska, Arkansas, and Wyoming. Those are the only states that say they can balance their budgets for 2012 fiscal year without slashing spending, raising revenues or changing the collective bargaining rules. Total estimated fiscal year 2012 shortfalls for all states: $124.7 billion. Most states fiscal years begin July 1.

Top five states shortfall as a percent of FY 2011 Budget:

1). Nevada – 45.2% shortfall = $1.5 billion
2). Illinois – 44.9% shortfall = $15.0 billion
3). New Jersey – 37.4% shortfall = $10.5 billion
4). Texas – 31.5% shortfall = $13.4 billion
5). California – 29.3% shortfall = $25.4 billion

11.9% - The percentage of American workers in unions last year, the lowest proportion in more than 70 years, according to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It began over a year ago in Greece, then Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Britian, now the United States. Is everyone giving up their fair share in these budget battles? Are the rich getting richer at the expense of the shrinking middle class? Gasoline, food, clothing prices are all going up every month and corporations are making profits while cutting benefits and pay for their workers. Private Universities claim increased freshman classes while public universities decrease services and debt loads for financing education for families increase to record numbers. The political and social implications of this “post-recession” world are endless.

WHERE IT GOES - Wall Street Journal's calculations of proposed funds by Federal department, compared with 2010: "Education, +21% ... Energy, +18% ... Veterans Affairs, +11% ... State and other international programs, +8% ... Treasury, +4% ... Interior, no change ... Defense, -3% ... Health and Human Services, -3% ... Housing and Urban Development, -3% ... Homeland Security, -4% ... Labor, -5% ... Transportation, -9% ... Agriculture, -14% ... .Justice, -25% ... Commerce, -34% [census has passed]."

CONGRATULTIONS - To Scottish deerhound Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, best in show at Westminster and winner of Rink Rats award for most insufferable dog name of all time.

AMERICANS SLASH DEBT - The recession that just rocked the U.S. economy happened in part because Americans were borrowing and spending more than they could afford. Now, three years after the downturn began, families are moving faster than many analysts had expected to put their finances in order by paying down debt and boosting their savings. ... Compared with the summer of 2008, when consumer debt peaked, Americans now have 7 percent less mortgage debt, 12 percent less in auto loans and 15 percent less credit card debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Loan payments last year were at their lowest level in a decade. Meanwhile, Americans are saving at nearly triple the rate they did between 2007 and 2009, setting aside 5.3 percent of their disposable income in December.

HOCKEY UNIFORMS – Did any one see the Heritage Game on Sunday, February 20 between Montreal and Calgary? Did you notice the uniforms on the Calgary Flames? They looked like they should be in a Harry Potter film. There was an expression used when growing up in Suburban Detroit – “He dressed like a Canadian.” No better example on Sunday.

ROYAL WEDDING – To those who think they might be on the invitation list, invitations went out this past week for the Royal Wedding on April 29 between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

SIGN OF THE TIMES? - An L.A. County employee apparently died while working in her cubicle on Friday, but no one noticed for quite some time. 51-year-old Rebecca Wells was found by a security guard on Saturday afternoon. She was slumped over on her desk in the L.A. County Department of Internal Services. "I came in Saturday to do a little work, and I saw them when they were taking her out," co-worker Hattie Robertson told KTLA. The exact time of death is not clear, but detectives say that, at worst, she had been dead for a day before her body was discovered. The last time a co-worker saw her alive was Friday morning around 9:00 a.m., according to Downey, CA police detectives.

VOICE OF REASON - Alan Simpson, the former Republican senator, says the real fiscal threats to the U.S. are entitlements and defense spending, which should be cut, not programs for low-income Americans. He singled out a Defense Department health insurance program that costs taxpayers $53 billion annually.

Dear Rink Rats:

“My husband is a liar and a cheat. He has cheated on me from the beginning, and, when I confront him, he denies everything. What’s worse, everyone knows that he cheats on me. It is so humiliating. Also, since he lost his job ten years ago, he hasn’t even looked for a new one. All he does is smoke cigars, play golf, cruise and pal around with his buddies while I have to work to pay the bills.”

“Since our daughter got married he doesn’t even pretend to like me and hints that I may be a Republican. What should I do?”


Dear Clueless:

Grow up and dump this loser. Good grief, woman! You don’t need him anymore. You’re Secretary of State. Act like one.


fain \FEYN\, adverb:
1. Gladly; willingly. adjective:
1. Content; willing.
2. Archaic: Constrained; obliged.
3. Archaic: Desirous; eager.

The professor would fain have lectured all night, and grudged every halt for refreshment, so as almost to run the risk of making the students mutinous.

embutidos, noun
cold cuts
No comemos muchos embutidos.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Drew Barrymore (36), Tricia Nixon Cox (65), Julius Erving (61), Steve Jobs (56), Ralph Nader (77).

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Saturday 2/26, 17th ranked Western Michigan Broncos (15-9-10) at 9th ranked University of Notre Dame (20-9-5), 7:05 ET, HGTV. With only two weeks remaining in the regular season every game is crucial. This CCHA contest at South Bend will be a test. Western Michigan is led by Rancho Santa Margarita, CA native Chase Bailey who leads the team in scoring as a freshman. The “Domers” will prevail in this one, ND to win.
Season to date (2-5)

GOOD BYE – Len Lesser, 88, passed away this past week. “Jerry! Hello!” Mr. Lesser, as Uncle Leo, would cry whenever he’d encounter his nephew in a social situation on “Seinfeld.” His greeting was usually accompanied by an elaborate palms-up gesture of welcome, and followed by a meandering digression of increasingly unbearable inconsequentiality, often involving his son, Jeffrey, who worked for the New York City Parks Department.

PART II: GRANADA, SPAIN REPORT – Niece Alex B. continues her reports on her studies in Spain with the University of Colorado.

“The geography of Granada is beautiful and pretty eclectic. Being that the Moors (or Moops according to George Costanzia) were the first to rule, there is a very strong Arab influence especially in the older part of the city called the Albaycin. It is on the side of a hill and is full of Middle Eastern shops, tea restaurants, flamenco shows and gypsy people. There is even a section of caves where some of the gypsies live which we have yet to go to but is supposed to be beautiful but not the place you want to go alone at night. The city center, where I live, is more modern with a Catholic influence amazingly beautiful and vibrant. All of the streets are made of stunning cobblestone and there are countless alleyways filled of tiny tapas bars and shops. Also, Granada has 4 main areas that are different plazas that are filled with outdoor cafes and beautiful architecture. There is no better hang over cure than 30 minutes on our balcony and then a café con leche at a café in one of the plazas that is filled with families and couples out with their dogs enjoying the day.”

“However, before you can get to the afternoon you have to make it through Granada’s nightlife. Though not as crazy as my friends’ evenings in Barcelona, Granada has a very big “fiesta” scene. The average Thursday-Saturday starts at about 10 o’clock. You go out for drinks and tapas with friends for dinner and then around midnight you go to something called the Botillion which is essentially the largest display of public drunkenness you’ve ever scene. The word itself basically means “to drink from the bottle” and is a huge open street filled with about 1000 locals passing bottles around to save money on alcohol and meet up for the night. It is pretty ridiculous to see but very fun and a great way to meet Spaniards (not that I can talk to them but whatever.) Then, at about 2 or 3am, you go to the clubs and don’t leave till sunrise. We left a club at 5am the other night and there were people just getting there--pretty crazy. Finally, at about 7 or 8am you go for churros con chocolate which are not anything like Mexican churros. They are just long sticks of batter basically; kind of like a long, skinny funnel cake with a cup of thick, thick hot chocolate that you dip them in. Not really my thing but they are very popular. From there you head home around early morning and sleep till 3 pm…rough life, right? I am still getting used to the schedule but I am learning to tough it out.”

Thank you Alex B. next week another story from her adventure.

Next week, Jack Ass of the Month and our monthly finance commentary.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
February 21, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cool Bistro

SMITTY’S GRILL PASADENA – When you walk into Smitty’s Grill, 110 South Lake Avenue in Pasadena California (626-792-9999), you feel like you just entered a steak house on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The atmosphere is warm and cozy. Have a famous Smitty’s martini at the bar with their wonderful homemade potato chips as a snack. The menu is American comfort food; chicken pot pie and meat loaf are our favorites. But the salads, fish and beef are all excellent. Save room for a hot fudge sundae for dessert. As we have said for many years the culinary world ends east of Pasadena and Smitty’s is the place. A Rink Rats rating of 1 -10, we give Smitty’s a 9.

BEHIND THE CURTAIN - Donald Rumsfeld, "Known and Unknown: A Memoir": National security adviser Condoleezza Rice "was a polished, poised, and elegant presence. I decidedly was not. One time Rice and I were sitting together in an NSC meeting, and I was wearing a pinstripe suit - one that I very well might have owned since the Ford administration. The suit was so well used that the pinstripes on the right leg above the knee were worn off. Rice noticed this, frowned, and pointed discreetly at my leg. Looking down at my suit, I noticed for the first time the missing pinstripes. 'Gee,' I whispered to her with a smile, 'maybe Joyce can sew them back on.' Condi's eyes widened. ... Often [NSC] meetings were not well organized. Frequent last-minute changes to the time of meetings and to the subject matter made it difficult for the participants to prepare, and even more difficult, with department of their own to manage, to rearrange their full schedules. ...

OBAMA TO CHAMBER: DROP DEAD - FORTUNE'S Nina Easton writes: "President Obama 'strolled over' (his words), across Lafayette Park to the Chamber ... where he made the case for a new spending agenda, offered a robust defense of regulation and his much-dreaded healthcare reform, scolded business to produce more American jobs and pay their executives less, and argued that industry should follow his lead ... The President exhorted business to 'get in the game' and start hiring. That plea would have had more resonance if businesses weren't staying out of the game in part because of wariness over healthcare costs, a range of new banking and environmental regulations coming down the pike, and tax cuts that were only extended two years."

WHY CALIFORNIA IS IN TROUBLE - S.F. Chronicle's Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross report: "New city records show that former Police Chief Heather Fong - who retired in 2009 - received a grand total of $528,595 in her final year. The goodbye check included her final year base pay of $187,875, plus $303,653 for unused vacation, sick and comp time, plus $37,067 in other pay. Now that she's gone, she's pulling down an annual pension of $229,500 for life. Former Deputy Chief Charles Keohane, who exited in 2009, received $516,118 in his final year - $325,503 from accrued vacation, sick time and premium pay."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Geoff Ball …famous All-American floor hockey goalie, Charles Barkley (48), High Downs (90), Matt Groening (57), Ice-T (53), Jim Kelly (51), Erma King …famous Grandmother and Mother, Roger Penske (74), Gretchen Pugliese …famous hockey mom, Rene Russo (57), Maria Suffredini …famous Princess, John Travolta (57), Vanna White (54).

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Tuesday 2/15, Clarkson College Golden Knights (13-14-2) at St. Lawrence University Skating Saints (9-15-5) 7:00 PM ET, WSLU network. You all have heard of Michigan v. Ohio State, Notre Dame v. USC, Albion v. Adrian, but the biggest rivalry of them all is Clarkson v. St. Lawrence. Such famous alumni as Dave Taylor, Mike Keenan, Jacques Martin, Jerry York, Brian Macfarlane and Bernie McKinnon, make this game even more traditional and special. No matter what their records may be, this is HUGE. Appleton Arena in Canton, New York will be rocking. The Hoot Owl orders extra kegs of beer for this one. Rink Rats likes the Skating Saints to win and begin the push for a playoff spot in the ECAC, go SAINTS.
Season to date (2-4).

$3.73 TRILLION – This is President Obama’s FY 2012 Budget, a 216 page nightmare. If I was starting out my career these days I would be very nervous about the future, this budget is a prime example.

PART I: GRANADA REPORT – Niece Alex B. writes about her studies this term in Granada Spain. Now into her third week and settling in to her apartment with 7 roommates, “I don’t know what I did to deserve this place but I should keep it up because this is by far the nicest place I will live in for probably the next 15 years”, she writes. “Our shower I’m pretty sure is nicer than my car being that it has about 12 different showerhead options with a radio, fan, and CD player.”

“The people in Granada are …warming up to us. “The men are extremely manicured and are very into their looks.” “Family is very important here and even my friends who are in homestays are expected to be home for family time every afternoon. I’m sure you’ve heard of it but siesta is a period of time Monday-Friday from about 2-5pm where stores and restaurants close and everyone goes home for lunch with their families to eat the largest meal of the day, nap, and spend time together. This is why I am made for Spain: I am encouraged to nap. It. Is. Awesome. After that, stores open again and don’t close till about 9 o’clock where you have a smaller dinner and it’s less of a big deal. Lunch is definitely the most important meal of the day, especially for families.”

“The food in Spain is delicious. Ham, bread, potatoes, cheese, and a boatload of olive oil can be found in pretty much every meal. Often cured, ham is used in literally almost every dish I have had so far. Even the potato chips are ham flavored. Also, the Spanish omelet is very popular. It is an omelet that is about 2 inches thick and loaded with potato and olive oil. Pretty much anything you get is going to be soaked in olive oil but it is so delicious here that you get used to it. By far the most amazing thing about Spain is the tapas. I think it translates into “small plate” but it is basically an appetizer at the beginning of every meal. However, only in Granada, every time you order a drink you get a free tapa. Let me just reiterate that: every time I order a beer (which is usually like $1.50) I get a plate of free food. And, even more amazingly, with every drink you order you get a bigger and better tapa. Apparently this used to be a tradition all throughout Spain but Granada is the only city that still does it; making it one of the cheapest and best places to study abroad. So, usually it starts out with some olives and sliced ham on bread, and then it might become a omelet on toast, and then a seafood dish. The best place we have gone so far is a little bar that is $2.20 for a beer and each person gets their own panini and fries and the second round is a hamburger and fries. We usually drink beer when we go out to tapas bars but a drink called “tinto de verno” is very popular here which is basically wine and Fanta. Sangeria is popular but more so in Northern Spain. Southern Spain, the Andulcia, is all about tinto de verno as well as being recognized as completely different than Northern Spain."

Thank you Alex B. next week we continue with her adventure.

Next week, a politics update, the words of the month and (a week late) Dear Rink Rats.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
February 14, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oscar Picks

That time of year again for our Oscar picks:

Leading Actor – Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”

Supporting Actor – Christian Bale in “The Fighter”

Leading Actress – Annette Bening in “The Kinds Are All Right”

Supporting Actress – Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”

Best Picture – “The King’s Speech”

FED PASSES CHINA AS TREASURY HOLDER - The Federal Reserve has surpassed China as the leading holder of US Treasury securities even though it has yet to reach the halfway mark in its latest round of quantitative easing. ... Based on weekly data released on Thursday, the New York Fed's holdings of Treasuries in its System Open Market Account, known as Soma, total $1,108bn. ... According to the most recent US Treasury data on foreign holders of US government paper, China holds $896bn and Japan owns $877bn. ... The Fed has devoted 67 per cent of its QE2 purchases to Treasuries with a maturity of four-and-a-half to 10 years. That has helped pull back yields in that part of the yield curve from their highs of December.

MAGIC NUMBER FOR OBAMA REELECTION - January employment numbers are showing 9.0% unemployment. For 2012, the magic number may ... be 215. That is how many thousands of jobs the economy has to create every month for the unemployment rate to drop below 8 percent by Election Day 2012. ... Since 1960, the unemployment rate has been above 7 percent during four elections: 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1992. In three of these 4 elections, the incumbent party lost. Only in 1984 did Reagan win with 7.2 percent unemployment, which was in the context of a 1.3 percentage point drop in unemployment during the year prior to the election. For President Obama, with a current unemployment rate of 9.0 percent, an unemployment rate below 7 percent is hard to envision by November 2012. However over the coming 2 years, he would see an improved political position from a significant drop in the unemployment rate. Current economic forecasting projects a fourth quarter 2012 unemployment rate of approximately 8 percent (CEA: 7.7 percent; CBO: 8.2 percent; Blue Chip: 8.4 percent). If the unemployment rate can break this 8 percent level, President Obama can credibly argue that he is making progress on jobs, even though the unemployment rate will still be historically high.


1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
3. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
4. Cleveland Clinic
5. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
7. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
8. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
9. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
10. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Tom Brokaw (71), Garth Brooks (48), Sara Evans (40), John Grisham (56), Mike Krzyzewski (64), Sarah Palin (47), Joe Pesci (68), Smokey Robinson (71), Jerry Springer (67), George Stephanopoulos (50).

Season to date (7-15).


-- USA Today 23rd annual Super Bowl Ad Meter: For the first time ever, two ads tied for first with the consumer dial groups -- Bud Light and Doritos, both featuring dogs. ("USA TODAY assembled 282 adult volunteers in Bakersfield, Calif., and McLean, Va., and electronically charted their second-by-second reactions [using] handheld meters.")

--Rink Rats concluded its popular NFL Game of the Week series with another loss, our season total was 7 – 15 not very impressive, if we would of placed a typical $5.00 Las Vegas sports book bet on each game we would of lost $65.00, not very impressive. See you all again in September (we hope) when we start the NFL and College games anew.

COLLEGE HOCKEY GAME OF THE WEEK – Saturday 2/12, #19 Princeton Tigers (14-8-1) visit #17 Dartmouth Big Green (13-7-3), 4:00 PM ET, Green Planet Network. A huge ECAC conference game in Hanover, New Hampshire, with three weeks left in the regular season these two Ivy League rivals are battling for ECAC supremacy. Rink Rats likes The Big Green of Dartmouth to win this one and break our slow season start.
Season to date (1-4).

STARBUCKS TRENTA – A video playing big in You Tube shows an entire bottle of red wine being poured into the new Trenta size cup, with room for cream. So now we have Tall, Grande, Venti and Trenta.

CORRESPONDENT - We are looking forward to upcoming reports from niece Alex B. in Granada, Spain. She is spending a semester in Spain with her studies from U of Colorado.

Next week, a great place to dine in Pasadena and Dear Rink Rats.

Until next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
February 7, 2011