Monday, June 25, 2012

2 Days in the Valley


7:00 AM – Tee off Los Serranos Golf Club South Course, Chino Hills; 7,188 yards Par 74. Our foursome includes a friend from Toronto, Canada who has lived in southern California for over thirty years. He is still a devoted Toronto Maple Leafs fan, thus he is depressed 24/7. Our second member is a friend I have known since third grade, Franklin, Michigan – he works for Lexus and hits the golf ball a mile, but he dyes his hair. Our fourth member of our golf troop is an old friend from Ohio, yes Ohio. The only reason he is allowed to play in our group is that he has denounced his citizenship from Ohio, still we do not allow him to drive the golf cart (Ohioans are terrible drivers).

7:01 AM – The first of many obscenities are said by the group as they hit their first shots.

9:15 AM – Nine holes completed everyone still friendly. After nine holes of golf you stop at the “half-way” shack where a tattoo covered woman sells you drinks and sandwiches. Today, no sandwiches, but four cans of Budweiser are ordered along with peanut butter crackers, the guy from Ohio has cashews (figures).

10:05 AM – The first controversy of the round; we cannot agree on who coached the Detroit Red Wings after Ned Harkness. Quickly an iPhone search is made, the answer is found. Of course I win the dollar, Doug Barkley (thank you).

11:30 AM – The round is concluded: Rink Rats (90), Oh Canada (92), Lexus (83), THE Ohio State (95). Yes a “90” the South Course is tough from the Blue tees, if I could only get off the tee.

11:45 AM – Another golf tradition, the “19th hole”. Here is where the scores are tabulated, lies are told, cocktails and sandwiches are ordered, political views examined, and money is transferred –sounds like the Republican National Convention. This is where the day gets complicated: we played a $5.00 Nassau, $2.00 Skins, double for birdies, $.50 points for “greenies”, “sandys”, closest to the pin, long drive, and team high/low for $5.00 a side. Got that – what it means is I am glad I have a M.B.A. degree and a smartphone.

12:30 PM – Tabulations are concluded, funds are disbursed: Rink Rats (Loss $5.00), Oh Canada (Loss $8.50), Lexus (Win $10.50), THE Ohio State (Win $1.50, damn). The golfing day is done – time for a nap.

6:00 PM – Dinner at a favorite place, Matt Denny’s in Arcadia, CA. Owner and bartender is Matt M. I have known Matt for 25 years, a lot of brew under the bridge. Matt, like all good saloon people can always tell a good story. Tonight he tells the story about the massage parlor recently opened next door to his establishment. The clients coming in and out of the business is the story. We won’t get into details but lets’ just say a deep Swedish massage is not the only think going on there. In Arcadia no less – I should pass this on to Rink Rats TMZ.

8:10 PM – It is Saturday night on the drag strip they call the 210 Foothill Freeway; average speed 80 MPH. I wonder how many of these drivers are from Ohio, I drive the speed limit.


9:00 AM – Into the Village of Claremont (Clareville) for breakfast and the farmers’ market. Claremont is an interesting community, a mixture of college town, retirement community, 1960’s survivors, and people who just refuse to live any further east. All these people come together on Sunday mornings, they hang out with “The Mayor” at Starbucks, they sit at 42 Street Bagel and watch the 60 year old men in their bicycle, skin tight, suits, Botox and they listen to terrible music groups performing on Yale Avenue. Lets’ not forget the customary Democrat table at the corner of Yale and Second. Never a Republican table, they are banished to La Verne and San Dimas. Today’s table is promoting some obscure Assembly candidate who is for education and the environment: how refreshing, change in Sacramento is coming.

9:15 AM – Breakfast at the Sunday popular Village Grille, a Claremont institution, people at Walter’s would say they are the Claremont breakfast institution – depends what side of Arrow Highway you live on. Nevertheless, “The Grille” is good, fast and reasonably cheap – take that David Allen.

10:00 AM – A stroll down Second Street to the Farmer’s Market, especially busy now with all the summer produce. I wear sunglasses always here; hopefully they help should I see someone I know. I like to shop incognito.

10:45 AM – My public duties are complete.

11:00 AM – Nothing like a late morning nap – if you have never tried it I highly recommend.

1:15 PM – A check in with the garden. The first tomatoes are ready for picking, sun flowers are beginning to show, we are in full summer mode. Gardening for me is like voting. I dread the thought of it, but when I do it I feel good about myself.

3:00 PM – I need to do some family shopping (birthdays, etc.) so it is off to Pasadena, I only shop in Pasadena – yes call me a snob but I know I am right. My only other shopping is via the internet but todays’ agenda calls for onsite analysis. Back on the 210 raceway, but as always on Sunday traffic resembles mid-week. The 210 (Foothill) Freeway slices through the Inland Empire, opened in 1966 and fully completed in 2002 – running from I-5 to I-10, Sylmar to San Bernardino.

4:00 PM – Colorado and Fair Oaks (Old Town Pasadena) is my starting point, I am a quick shopper why because I see no point in taking my time when I know exactly what I want. Also it is important to visit a few local pubs to quench my shopper’s thirst. A good shopper’s pub is Lucky Baldwin’s on Raymond Avenue – excellent beer selection and no bohemian types like you see in many Old Town Pasadena bars.

4:30 PM – I hit the usual Rink Rat gift spots: Barnes & Noble, The Apple Store, The Body Shop (no I refuse to buy men’s makeup), and Crate & Barrel.

5:00 PM – Shopping complete, yes in less than an hour – I am The Man. Final stop out of town is the second pub of choice while shopping: Smitty’s on Lake Avenue. A classic bar, they mix good drinks, and the bar chips are to die for – David Allen you have met your match!

6:15 PM – Back home to Clareville.

7:00 PM – Arrive in time for Skype student office hours, tonight a distraught student from San Luis Obispo is in panic mode about a Case study. Cooler heads prevail and his fears are eased. Another student calls in from Fontana, a family reunion is making it difficult to get her work in on time, can she have an extra day or so. Lets’ see what would Paul do???? Forget that, I give the student an extra day.

9:00 PM – Office duties are complete time to end the weekend as always, watching the latest HBO series – tonight True Blood. Do vampires really exist? Maybe I should go to the next faculty meeting or stay late at my next meeting with Bankers? My last joke of the weekend, thank you very much, we do it all again next Saturday.
Thank you for spending with me 2 Days in the Valley.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Dan Aykroyd (60), Bruce Johnston (70), Michael Phelps (27), Kellie Pickler (26), Carly Simon (67).

DRIVING THE WEEK - The giant health care ruling could come at around 10:00 a.m. today. If not SCOTUS watchers say, Thursday is the most likely fall back. POTUS will deliver remarks today at Oyster River high School in Durham, New Hampshire followed by an evening fundraising reception in Boston at which the President will be introduced by Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. VP Biden will be on the trail in crucial Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday with speeches in Waterloo and Dubuque. Mitt Romney has an event Tuesday at Carter Machinery Company in Salem, Virginia.

S & P / Case-Shiller home prices Tuesday morning expected to rise 0.3 percent. Consumer confidence Tuesday expected to dip to 63.5 from 64.9. Third estimate of Q1 GDP expected to be unchanged at an anemic 1.9 percent. University of Michigan consumer sentiment on Friday expected to dip to 74.1 from 79.3. E.U. summit with big stales for both the continent and the White House begins on Thursday.

The Obama Administration and many investors want to see some bold, German-supported moves to take the risk of big defaults (Italy, Spain) and global contagion off the table. Early reports suggest such bold moves are not likely. Both Greece's new prime minister and finance minister have said they will not attend due to illness. OECD report on US economy released on Tuesday, House Ways and Means hearing on capital gains takes place Thursday.

Next week, Jack Ass of the Month and summer movies.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
June 25, 2012

#III-9, 114

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