Monday, August 29, 2011
A Day at the Races
If it is August it is Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar California. If you like to view beautiful horses, the beautiful people, and make an occasional wager, this is the place for you. Rink Rats spent a day at the races recently and though The Swami lost $15, it was well worth the loss.
From the colorful paddock, to the ocean view grandstands Del Mar offers a wonderful way to spend a summer afternoon. Though I must admit betting Daily Doubles, Trifectas and Boxes can be a bit intimidating to the casual gambler. The track personnel are very friendly and help you understand the wager system. The thrill of feeling the power of the horses as they stride down the stretch is amazing, and if you should win the thrill is magnified.
The people watching at Del Mar is second to none: characters ranging from high heeled Orange County Housewife types to the professional horsemen to the regular once a year man or woman is quite fun. But also be ready to be humbled, The Swami’s wife beats him every time – say it ain’t so!
IRENE AFTERMATH - "Wet, deadly and expensive, but no monster" - AP: "The storm left millions without power across much of the Eastern Seaboard, left more than 20 dead and forced airlines to cancel about 9,000 flights. ... Many of the worst effects arose from rains that fell inland ... Residents of Pennsylvania and New Jersey nervously watched waters rise as hours' worth of rain funneled into rivers and creeks. Normally narrow ribbons of water turned into raging torrents in Vermont and upstate New York late Sunday, tumbling with tree limbs, cars and parts of bridges. ... Nearly 5 million homes and businesses lost power at some point."
Irene tally: 2.4 million people evacuated, at least 26 dead, more than 5 million homes without power
VERMONT DISASTER - Burlington Free-Press early Monday: "Vermont State Police and emergency managers’ report ... flash floods and stranded motorists due to Hurricane Irene. Drivers are being encouraged to stay off the roads. Thousands are without power. At least one person has been swept down a river and is presumed drowned. Montpelier is bracing for 'a major emergency' of overnight flooding. Throughout the state, a disaster is unfolding."
CATSKILLS DISASTER - Doron Tyler Antrim of the Hudson-Catskill Newspapers writes in The Daily Mail of Greene County, NY: "Flooding has been widespread and severe across the county today - the most damaging is on the mountaintop - following Tropical Storm Irene. Rain was heavy for most of the day and it swelled creeks to amazing levels. "There are many road closures and people are advised to stay home. More than 8,400 Central Hudson customers in the county, or about 30 percent, are currently without power. The utility has warned it will take several days to return power to some areas."
"IN MY TIME: A Personal and Political Memoir," by Dick Cheney, with Liz Cheney (out Tuesday from Mary Matalin's Threshold Editions; 565 pages.
--"On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected ... [Bush chief of staff] Josh Bolten decided to host a unique session for the incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, during our last weeks in office. Josh gathered all the living former chiefs of staff, about a dozen of us. Don Rumsfeld was there, Howard Baker, Jack Watson, John Sununu, and Leon Panetta, among others, and we met around the table in the office we had all once inhabited. Josh went around and asked each of us to give Rahm our most important piece of advice. By this time, of course, there'd been years of stories about how I was the evil genius controlling the Bush administration from behind a curtain, so when it came my turn I advised Rahm, 'Whatever you do, make sure you've got the vice president under control.' It was one of my better lines."
FINANCE, THE WEEK AHEAD - Wall Street plans a normal Monday morning open, something that was not a certainty before Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene passed through the New York area. With the worst case scenarios avoided, exchanges made the decision to operate normally, though some businesses remain closed and local travel in the New York area will still be somewhat difficult.
The major U.S. averages are coming off their biggest weekly gains in eight weeks, despite wide swings and high volatility. The Dow has registered triple-digit moves in six of the past seven sessions, and only once in the past seven sessions has it moved less than 1%.
Corporate earnings are not much of a factor this morning, but economic statistics are: the government is set to release July numbers on personal income and spending. Economists are forecasting a 0.4% rise in income following June's 0.1% increase, and they think consumer spending jumped 0.5% after declining 0.2% in June. We'll also get June pending home sales numbers from the National Association of Realtors, with a 1.0% decline representing the consensus forecast. Pending home sales had risen 2.4% in May.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Warren Buffett (81), Jimmy Connors (59), Dr. Phil (61), Carla Gugino (40), Salma Hayek (45), John McCain (75), Linda Prince …famous scientist, Rachael Ray (43), Frank Robinson (76), Tom Watson (62).
JACKASS OF THE MONTH - Texas “Governor Goodhair” Rick Perry said Fed Chair Ben Bernanke might be guilty of treason if he "prints" more money. A very impressive statement from a Presidential candidate. This simple statement alone earns “Governor Goodhair” the Jackass of the Month for August. We weep for our selection of candidates in the coming Presidential campaign.
NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PICK: Who will be in New Orleans this January for the National Championship Game – The Swami likes Alabama vs. Oklahoma. The Sooners to win it all in 2012.
NFL SEASON PICKS: The Swami likes the following conference winners: NFC – Philadelphia, Green Bay, St. Louis and New Orleans with Dallas and Tampa Bay the NFC wild cards. AFC – New England, Pittsburgh, Houston and San Diego with Indianapolis and New York Jets the AFC wild cards. Green Bay vs. New England in the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots 2012 Champs.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/3, it is a whopper of a first game, #3 Oregon Ducks visit #4 and in jail LSU Tigers, 8:00 PM ET, ABC. The Tigers are 1 point dogs to Oregon, we like Oregon to win big in Arlington Texas. Season to date: (0-0) – Last Season (16-4)
SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 9/3, The St. Lawrence University Saints begin their 116th year of intercollegiate football by entertaining the Utica Pioneers at beautiful Leckonby Stadium, 1:00 PM ET, HGTV. The defending Liberty League Champs will win this opening game in what hopes to be another successful season. Season to date (0-0) – Last Season (12-3)
Next week, our weekly pro football pick of the week begins.
Until next Monday, Adios.
La Jolla, CA
August 29, 2011