Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 1978

Thirty five years ago today my mother, Barbara Jean Hannaum Hasse, died.

She was forty five years old; she left a husband, four children, two parents, a sister, and many friends. She died of cancer.

I remember the day like it was an hour ago. I was living in Ithaca, New York then. My wife Kathy and I had just returned from spending some days with her in the hospital. Before this day death to me was a distant thing. Yes, I had been to funeral homes viewing my father’s parents and brothers. But now death was real and unknown. The day was a Saturday, my father called and everything in our family changed forever. Trying to recall the days that followed is difficult; it was like a fuzzy dream. My father and grandparents were in shock most of the time, fortunately I and my oldest sister had spouses to lean on and support us.  To this day I feel so sorry for my younger two sisters, who had to bare this on their own watching all the sorrow around them.

As life is we have all moved on, healed and experienced the many ups and downs of life.  I have experienced more death; I have seen family, friends, and business associates all leave us. But this memory of thirty five years ago is still upmost in my mind. The memory of her to this very minute is strong and intact. The sadness of her death has been replaced over time by the love and life she gave all of us. The wonderful memories of family and not the memory of her death becomes the gift over time she has given her husband, children, and friends.

Now when I have friends experience their parent’s death or other family members I can offer them support in the belief that their memory and love will last with them until they die.

Barbara Jean we love you, thank you for my life and thank you for the memories.

FLASH - "New pope will probably be elected by end of March-Vatican. A new pope will probably be elected by the end of March, a Vatican spokesman said this morning, after Pope Benedict left his aides 'incredulous' with his announcement that he would resign because he was too weak to fulfill the duties of his office. Benedict said he would step down on Feb. 28 and would not take part in the conclave to elect a new pope, Father Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican. After resigning, the former pope will move to a summer residence near Rome. After that, he will live in a former monastery within Vatican territory."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Geoff Ball …famous nephew, Jeb Bush (60), Ice-T (55), Michael Jordan (50), Rene Russo (59), Chuck Yeager (90).

NUMBER OF THE DAY: $45 MILLION - That's the eye-popping sum awarded in cash and stock to Jeffries Group CEO Richard Handler, making him the top earning public company boss on Wall Street. Haven't heard of Jeffries? You are not alone. It's hardly a blue-chip household name like Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. The number is even more astounding when you consider Jeffries 2012 total net income: $282 million. That means Handler is pocketing nearly 16 percent of the entire company's profits.

MAYOR WHO? -  "Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last week shot down speculation in California and Washington about his candidacy for an Obama Cabinet position ... Villaraigosa for months has been the subject of buzz he would be selected to succeed Secretary Ray LaHood at the Transportation Department or as a nominee to head the Department of Commerce. But he said in a statement that he is focused on the last five months of his second term as mayor."

RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?? -  "YOU LOOK GOOD, HILL: Her website gets a face-lift - for 2016? ... Backers' website glams her up: Just days after becoming a private citizen, Hillary Clinton [launched] a ... new website [] that boldly features her in an attention-grabbing photo. A mass e-mail sent Tuesday by her husband Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea [from the Clinton Foundation] ... urges recipients to 'thank Hillary for making our country and our world, stronger, safer and better. ... Please take a moment to send Hillary your personal note of thanks' ... The website and e-mail show that Clinton already has given great thought to the future ... Visitors to, the remnant of campaigns past [Friends of Hillary], were presented with a link directing them to the new address, ... which was registered Thursday, 24 hours before Clinton left the State Department. ...

"The site ... contains a contact form for visitors to fill out - allowing Clinton to add to her already robust mailing list. Clinton aides downplayed the site's significance, insisting that it is simply a way for fans and the media to reach Clinton now that she is out of office. The mass e-mail was sent by her husband's nonprofit foundation to its subscribers."

$2 TRILLION MORE IN DEFICIT REDUCTION NEEDED - "A slowly improving economy and recently enacted tax increases will help bring down the federal deficit for the next few years, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, but it will take another $2 trillion in belt-tightening over the next decade to begin to move the federal debt closer to historic levels. ... Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan agency that advises Congress on budget and economic matters, emphasized the risks of failing to stabilize the debt. 'At this level of debt relative to GDP, our country would be incurring costs and bearing risks of a sort that we have not [had] in our history except for a few years around the end of the second World War,' he said."

SPORTS BLINK - "Fans bet record $98.9M in Nevada on Super Bowl: 183 sports books made $7.2 million on the football action. The San Francisco 49ers started out as a 5-point favorite but the Baltimore Ravens won 34-31. Odds makers say California fans drove the unprecedented handle, flooding Las Vegas and the Lake Tahoe area with wagers on the hometown team, which hadn't been in the Super Bowl since 1995. ... The previous record was set in 2006, when gamblers wagered $94.5 million on the Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Book makers said they took a beating this year on proposition bets, including a long-shot on whether there would be a safety. Ravens punter Sam Koch took a safety for the final score with 4 seconds left. Casinos retained 7.3 percent of the millions wagered, slightly less than the average hold during the past decade, which has fluctuated from lows of negative 2.8 percent to highs of 17 percent.

"The 65 points scored in New Orleans easily exceeded the over/under of 49. ... Casinos paid out at 9-to-1 for the safety. Fans who bet that the 49ers' final score would be on a safety cashed in at 50-to-1. Sports books also paid out big last year when the New York Giants played the New England Patriots and the first score of the game was a safety. ... Nevada sports books have lost only twice on the Super Bowl in the past 20 years, most recently in 2008, when New York beat the Patriots, costing casinos a record $2.6 million."

"Ravens' Super Bowl Win Draws Fewest Viewers Since 2010's Contest, CBS's Super Bowl telecast of the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers ... drew a smaller audience than the last two record championship games. The four-hour contest at the Superdome in New Orleans averaged 108.4 million viewers ... The drop ends seven years of rising viewership for the game, annually the most-watched U.S. television event. ... Last year's contest between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots drew a record audience of 111.3 million. The previous year's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers attracted 111 million."

BUSH FAMILY HACKED - "Audacious Hack Exposes Bush Family Pix, E-Mail: Hacker breached AOL account of ex-president's sister, other victims. Included in the hacked material is a confidential October 2012 list of home addresses, cell phone numbers, and e-mails for dozens of Bush family members ... The posted photos and e-mails contain a watermark with the hacker's online alias, 'Guccifer.' Correspondence obtained by the hacker indicates that at least six separate e-mail accounts have been compromised, including the AOL account of Dorothy Bush Koch, daughter of George H.W. Bush and sister of George W. Bush. Other breached accounts belong to Willard Heminway, 79, an old friend of the 41st president who lives in Greenwich, Connecticut; CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz, a longtime Bush family friend ... Both Heminway and Nantz corresponded with Bush, 88, about playing golf and visiting the Bush compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. The hacked e-mails, sent between 2009 and 2012, include correspondence between Nantz and George W. Bush's scheduler about an October 2010 golf outing in Dallas.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING - "Huge storm blankets Northeast with 2 feet of snow. More than 38 inches of snow fell in Milford in central Connecticut, and an 82-mph wind gust was recorded in nearby Westport. ... Airlines scratched more than 5,300 flights ... Snow piled up so high in some places ... that people couldn't open their doors to get outside. ... The wind-whipped snowstorm mercifully arrived at the start of a weekend, which meant fewer cars on the road and extra time for sanitation crews to clear the mess before commuters in the New York-to-Boston region of roughly 25 million people have to go back to work. ... A little more than 11 inches fell in New York City ... Nearly 22 inches of snow fell in Boston and up to 3 feet was expected ... About 650,000 customers in the Northeast lost power during the height of the snowstorm, most of them in Massachusetts and Rhode Island."

 "The Weather Channel ... bestowed the snowstorm ... with the name Nemo, conjuring the image of the adorable orange fish from the Disney/Pixar film 'Finding Nemo.' ... The common criticism is that it is a [Weather Channel] marketing ploy. The National Weather Service ... has advised its forecasters not to follow the channel's lead, and a spokesman said it had never named winter storms ... (The New York Times advises reporters not to use the names in storm coverage.) But the name game was catching on, as evidenced by the government officials, news media outlets and airlines that published advisories using the name. 'We're ready for Nemo,' the Twitter account for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ... asserted ... 'Twitter needs a hashtag,' said Bryan Norcross, the Weather Channel meteorologist who helped conceive the storm-naming system. The main rationale for naming, he said, is to help raise awareness about the dangers of storms. ... [T]he channel's next names are Orko, Plato and Q."

"The weather service uses names for hurricanes and tropical storms created by the World Meteorological Organization, but not other types of storms. ... Decades ago, storms like this would come with at most a day or two warning. But now because of satellite technology ... and better data and modeling, forecasters are seeing storms several days in advance ... There are days of waiting for a storm with little news to report, sometimes leading to exaggeration. ... The lead-up to the storm has been the atmospheric equivalent of the week before the Oscars or Super Bowl. ... The name Nemo was getting significant use, trending Friday on Twitter. ... CBS News' Major Garrett mused on Twitter: 'I thought only Dairy Queen named Blizzards.”

NHL POWER RANKINGS – a key indicator after ten games, who are the best and worst in the National Hockey League: (1). Chicago Blackhawks, (2). New Jersey Devils, (3). Boston Bruins, (4). Anaheim Ducks, (5). Pittsburgh Penguins. Bottom Two: (29). Washington Capitals, (30). Columbus Blue Jackets.

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday February 15, 7:35 PM ET, CBSSN; a key game in the CCHA at Steve Cady (St. Lawrence ’74) Arena in Oxford, Ohio. #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-11-1) visit #2 Miami Redhawks (18-7-5), the winner of this one has the upperhand the final weeks of the season. Miami 5 Notre Dame 4.  (Season to date (5-2)

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – ice - Miami 5 Irish 4, hoops (women) - La Verne 66 Occidental 59,  hoops (men) – Michigan State 71 Michigan 65.  Season to date (55-28)

DRIVING THE WEEK - Obama delivers his State of the Union Address on Tuesday and is expected to argue for new (and recycled) spending initiatives on infrastructure and other items to try and drive faster job growth. These are not likely to pass the House. Obama will again seek to raise pressure on House Republicans to relent on their refusal to consider new revenue through tax reform as part of an alternative to the nearly $1 trillion sequester spending cuts set to hit March 1. ...

After the SOTU, Obama goes on the traditional road trip to sell his policies with stops in Asheville, N.C. on Wednesday, Atlanta on Thursday and Chicago on Friday. ... Treasury Budget at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday expected to show a deficit of $2 billion. ... Retail sales at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday expected to grow 0.1 percent. ... University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment at 8:30 a.m. Friday expected to rise slightly to 74.8 from 73.8, still a weak figure.

Wall Street is coming off an uneven week that nonetheless saw some notable achievements: the S&P 500 chalked up its 6th straight week of gains, something it had not done in 42 years, while the Nasdaq posted its highest close since November 9, 2000. The Dow, however, did break a five-week string of advances.

Next week; Mid winter movie and restaurant reviews, I hope.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

Claremont, CA
February 11, 2013

#III-43, 148

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