Monday, July 23, 2012


There is much to fret over these days. Erin Andrews has dumped ESPN. Katie has dumped Tom. Ann Curry is out. Jeff Daniels, with almost no anchor experience, is suddenly in. Instead of hiring student service (support) staff Universities and Colleges hire sales men and women. U.S. Olympic uniforms are made in China by thirteen year olds.

Despite all our best efforts, the world remains a shifty place.

The word seamless has come up in many a conversation this summer by this writer.
seamless - perfectly consistent and coherent; "the novel's seamless plot"; coherent, consistent, logical, ordered - marked by an orderly, logical, and aesthetically consistent relation of parts; "a coherent argument".

When one’s life is seamless all is consistent and logical. When I travel a “seamless” vacation is a vacation of order, quiet, and no worries. Too bad our lives cannot be such. In today’s world nothing is seamless. We work in professional environments far from seamless; employees who should be fired continue their jobs (and salary) in relocated offices with little value to the organization. Our personal lives are driven by the next text or twitter message, while we constantly look over our shoulder in the shopping mall or restaurant for people acting strange.

Can we ever have a seamless life? Probably never, this is the challenge and yes struggle of today’s society. So I say no worries about being seamless, do not worry about those managers who keep poor performing employees on the payroll, do not worry about answering that text, do not worry about a vacation that goes wrong – worry about helping at the very least one person every day, making their day in a small way seamless.

CHAPTER 11 – The approval of Tribune’s restructuring under Chapter 11 this past week will represent the beginning of the end of a case that has left the company in limbo since December 2008. Owner of the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, KTLA and numerous other media outlets around the U.S. – the plan has been endorsed by several of the company’s largest creditors, which include JP Morgan Chase.

GEEK SQUAD – MyTracks for Android is one of Google’s lesser known mobile apps, but it’s actually a pretty useful tool for those who would like to keep a record of their bike rides, runs, hikes and other outdoor activities. Users can export their data as standard GPX, KML, CSV and TCX files and also their data in Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables and Google Docs. Users can also share their routes via Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

MICROSOFT POSTS FIRST LOSS - "Microsoft reported its first loss since becoming a public company in 1986 as it wrote down the value of its online business and deferred revenues expected when users upgrade to its forthcoming Windows 8 .. The quarterly net loss of $492m, or 6 cents per share, compared with net income of $5.9bn, or 69 cents per share, in the same period last year. Apart from these exceptional items, the world's largest software maker reported record fourth-quarter sales, sending its shares up 2.5 per cent to $31.44 in after-hours trading ... During its new fiscal year starting this month, Microsoft plans to release Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012 and its Office 2013 productivity suite".

STUDENT LOAN BUBBLE - "Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education released a report that describes the risky practices and debt that stemmed from the boom and bust of the private student loan market in the past ten years. According to the CFPB's estimates, outstanding student loan debt in the United States topped $1 trillion in 2011 -- $864 billion of federal student debt and approximately $150 billion of private student loan debt."

Here is a neat student loan infographic from

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Bill Bigglestone …famous family researcher, Hugo Chavez (58*), Dick Ebersol (65), Peggy Fleming (64*), Tim Gunn (59), Don Imus (72), Alison Krause (41), Norman Lear (90*), Terri McCormack … famous party hostess, Elisabeth Moss (30), Alex Rodriguez (37), Alessandro Suffredini …famous nephew.

RICKSHAW REPORT – This writer’s 2011 Ford Fusion clipped 27,000 miles (18 months) this past week. Here is a shout out to the fine team at Colley Ford (Glendora, CA): a great car, never a problem, outstanding service. A note to Carl (General Manager) and wife Barb Colley, you have a very beautiful daughter (Blair) but enough with the head band in every picture. You are turning your daughter into LeBron James.

RICKSHAW REPORT PART DEUX - Detroit News p. 1A, "Auto sales on track to be best since 2007: Lower gas prices, pent-up demand help sell vehicles: U.S. car and truck sales could surpass 14 million for the first time in five years, with every major automaker reporting a strong midyear performance. Strong June sales announced Tuesday [prompted] analysts to revise their consensus forecast of 13.9 million upward, to 14.2 million. That would be the industry's best U.S. sales year since 2007, when 16.1 million ... were sold. Last year's American sales totaled 12.8 million, as the industry continued to claw its way back ...”

"A flagging ... housing market and consumer confidence index could dampen the auto industry's comeback ... Some of the gains ... are due to fleet and rental sales, which don't portend the market for consumer vehicles."

OLYMPICS RATED "NC-17" - "Will you still medal in the morning? The real games in the Olympic Village will not be televised: Popping up once every two years, the Olympic Village is a boisterous city within a city: chock-full of condos, midrises and houses as well as caf├ęs, barbershops, arcades, discos and TV lounges. ... At the 2000 Sydney Games, 70,000 condoms wasn't enough, prompting a second order of 20,000 and a new standing order of 100,000 condoms per Olympics. ... Olympians are young, supremely healthy people who've been training with the intensity of combat troops for years. Suddenly they're released into a cocoon where prying reporters and overprotective parents aren't allowed. Pre-competition testosterone is running high. Many Olympians are in tapering mode, full of excess energy because they're maintaining a training diet of up to 9,000 calories per day while not actually training as hard. ...”

"The soccer girls? 'All hot, and they dress like rock stars,' one male swimmer says. ... Some swear off sex until their events are done; others make it part of their pre-event routine. ... Many on-the-prowl athletes maintain that they're driven by a simple human need: intimacy, if only for a moment or three. For most Olympians, the ramp-up to the Games is lonely. Not unlike movie stars on a far-flung movie shoot, the Olympics present the perfect opportunity to find a partner who understands where they're coming from. ... The athlete compound soon becomes the site of an uneasy dance between jocks on a post-competition bender and those who have yet to compete." I cannot wait for the tweets.

JULY/AUGUST SPECIAL – If it is summer it is Peach Cobbler time at the Parkway Grill; 510 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA (626-795-1001). Every summer this Pasadena institution serves the best Peach Cobbler. This year they were kind enough to share their recipe with Rink Rats:

• 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
• 2 cups sugar, divided
• 1/2 cup water
• 8 tablespoons butter
• 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• Ground cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.

Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for an extra treat pour a little Italian liqueur Amaretto Disaronno over the cobbler. Eat your heart out David Allen.

WORDS OF THE MONTHmumpsimus \MUHMP-suh-muhs\, noun:
1.Adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy.
2. A person who persists in a mistaken expression or practice

“Mr. Thirty Hour Work Week, who sticks (I fancy) to his old mumpsimus, thought that the other gentleman might have given up his Monday to work for him.”

cibernauta, noun internet user
Both Spanish and English share many words derived from Greek or Latin. In the case of el cibernauta, however, while the word cybernaut exists in English, it is not very common, and has a slightly different meaning from the Spanish. Cibernauta is the basic word for anybody who is an internet user, whether proficient or otherwise:

“los cibernautas de todo el mundo”.
Internet users all round the world.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Biggest data point comes Friday with the first estimate on second quarter GDP. Analysts expect a decline to 1.5% growth from an already anemic 1.9% in the first quarter. It will be a very bad headline for the Obama campaign even if the number comes in at or slightly above expectations ... But if it comes in significantly below 1.5% it will be disastrous. The U.S. appears headed back toward recession rather than moving towards stronger growth. This is not the kind of trend that tends to re-elect a sitting president. Data on Friday also include GDP revisions going back to 2009. Mitt Romney is California this morning where he will host a small business roundtable at Endural LLC in Costa Mesa 10:30 a.m. PDT ...

On Thursday, Romney begins a two-week trip abroad beginning in London for the Olympics and meetings with UK leadership including current Prime Minister David Cameron and Former Prime Minister Tony Blair followed by stops in Israel and Poland. Seems like a smart move for Romney to get out from under the day-to-day pressure and small balls stories that dominate the campaign in the U.S. and elevate his game on the world stage ... President Obama is in San Francisco this morning before leaving for Reno, Nevada to deliver remarks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention and for campaign events. ...

Obama is in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for campaign events on Tuesday and travels to New Orleans on Wednesday for campaign events and to deliver remarks at the National Urban League conference... House Financial Services has a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday on the CFPB's impact on consumer access to credit ... Treasury Secretary Geithner testifies before House Financial Services on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the annual FSOC report ... House Financial Services has a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. on the 10th anniversary of Sarb-Ox ... Senate Banking has a hearing Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the private market for student loans ... Geithner testifies before Senate Banking on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the FSOC report

Next week, a summer travel hazard – bad teeth.

Until Next Monday, Hasta La Vista.

Claremont, CA
July 23, 2012

#III-13, 118

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