Monday, February 18, 2013


A business associate this past week caught me in a moment of what I like to call “time panic”. He said to me; “Why do you continue to teach, when your time is spread so thin?”  Easy answer my banker friend, teaching is my savior. Without teaching my professional life is only half complete. From my first class at Tompkins-Cortland Community College many years ago, to last Wednesday evening in Orange County California I have not regretted one moment in the classroom.

It is not the pay, not the travel, not the academic discipline. But the friendships and associations with so many fine people. I have made and maintained friendships with students from the Xinjiang Province of eastern China, from Stockholm Sweden, Sao Paulo Brazil, Caracas Venezuela, Bangkok Thailand, Lompoc California, Dryden New York, Rancho Cucamonga California and all towns in-between.

These relationships of business, friendship and mutual respect make teaching the professional passion of my career. To connect with another human to help them become a better professional and better citizen is something I cherish. The reward is worth all the time management challenges I may have. As in life there are failures and successes in teaching, most of the challenges are in the egos associated with the profession. But when it comes to students I have no complaints, only thanks for rewarding me with your trust and association.

2012 OSCAR PICKS – Sunday February 24, 7:00 PM ET, ABC

Best Picture – Lincoln
Leading Actor – Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”
Leading Actress – Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Supporting Actor – Robert De Niro in “Silver Linings Playbook”
Supporting Actress – Amy Adams in “The Master”
Directing – Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”
Animated Feature – “Frankenweenie”

TECH BLINK: APPLE TARGETED BY TOP HEDGE FUND - "An activist hedge fund has thrown down the gauntlet to Apple, pushing it to consider new ways to return billions of dollars to shareholders after the fall of the iPhone maker's share price by more than a third in recent months. The decision by David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital to sue the world's most valuable company is the latest effort to unlock the huge cash piles being hoarded by large technology groups. ...

"Greenlight on Thursday said it had taken legal action against Apple over proposed changes to its corporate charter that would prohibit it from issuing a new high-yielding class of share, which could pay out billions of dollars from its $137 billion cash pile. ... Apple said it would consider the idea, along with other ways to boost payouts to shareholders. ... 'Apple's management team and board of directors have been in active discussions about returning additional cash to shareholders,' the company said."

INSIDE THE WEST WING: Last Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry attended his first Cabinet meeting. Also seated at the table, representing Commerce, was his brother, Cam, who is the department's legal counsel. Observers believe this was the first brotherly duo at the table since President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

COMCAST BUYS REMAINING NBC STAKE FROM GE - "Comcast Corp., in a bullish bet on traditional entertainment, is buying General Electric Co.'s 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion. ... Two years ago Comcast bought an initial 51 percent stake in NBCU, transforming the nation's biggest cable operator into a diversified media company. Now, Comcast is doubling down, despite the uncertainty facing the industry, given the rise of digital outlets like Netflix Inc. and Amazon. ... NBCUniversal's cable channels, including USA, Bravo and MSNBC, continue to generate big profits. Meanwhile the NBC broadcast network has shown signs of a turnaround in recent months. ...

For Philadelphia-based Comcast, the NBC purchase is a wager that it can achieve benefits by owning both distribution and content, a strategy tried and abandoned by other media companies such as Time Warner Inc. ... Shares of Comcast jumped 6.8 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement. Comcast is also buying NBCUniversal's floors in the landmark New York City building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where NBC now broadcasts and which carries the GE sign, as well as CNBC's headquarters in New Jersey, for a total of $1.4 billion. Mr. Roberts declined to comment on whether the Comcast name would replace GE on the Rockefeller Plaza tower."

PANETTA'S FAREWELL - "On what may be his final day in Washington after nearly 50 years of service, Thursday February 14 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spent time in and out of the Pentagon thanking those who have worked to protect the nation these past four years. At 1000, Panetta was joined by General Dempsey in presenting former Secretary Clinton with the Department's highest awards for public service at a ceremony attended by DOD and State Department workers. This was Panetta's final open-press speech and Clinton's first since she left office. After lunchtime, Panetta made one final trip up the river to CIA to thank his former deputy and acting Director Michael Morell in an all-hands call for agency staff. He quietly went to Section 60 at Arlington one last time to thank those we've lost on the battlefield. Panetta then returned to the Pentagon to see immediate staff and left for Monterey late in the afternoon. He promised his wife, Sylvia, he would be home in time for Valentine's Day dinner. Panetta will remain Secretary of Defense -- and will execute those responsibilities -- until Chuck Hagel takes the oath of office."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Charles Barkley (50), Fred Biletnikoff (70), Jeff Daniels (58), Erma King …famous gardener, Yoko Ono (80), William Peterson (60), Gretchen Pugliese …famous Health Care manager, Seal (50), Cybill Shepherd (63), Vijah Singh (50), Justin Verlander (30).

COLLEGE ENDOWMENT RETURNS 2012 - The value of college endowments fell back to earth in 2012, just a year after soaring an average of 19.2 percent, according to a new survey released last week. The NACUBO-Common Fund Study of Endowments, which looks at data from more than 800 education institutions in North America, found that endowments for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012, were essentially flat, returning an average of minus-0.3 percent.

Harvard University was, once again, the wealthiest institution, with $30.4-billion in endowment funds. Although the university reported an investment return of 0.05 percent, the total value of Harvard's endowment fell by 4.1 percent as the net result of institutional expenditures and investment fees as well as the slight investment gain and incoming gifts. That negative 4.1 percent amounted to nearly $1.3-billion in 2012, a figure that is greater than the value of all but the 55 largest endowments.

Yale University's $19.3-billion endowment was the second-biggest, with a return of 4.7 percent on its investment. The University of Texas system was third, at nearly $18.3-billion. Stanford University's $17-billion endowment was fourth, and Princeton's was fifth, with just under that amount. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has an endowment valued at $10.1-billion, reported an 8-percent rate of return.

One reason that endowment values dipped is that 57 percent of the institutions increased their expenditures on campus operations, spending an average of 7.1 percent more in 2012 than they did a year earlier. The wealthiest class of institutions spent 15.7 percent more.

DINING OUT – We found a great neighborhood bar and grill, where old school meets new school. The West Point Lounge is that neighborhood place we all long for; good, cheap food in a friendly atmosphere. This family owned, for seventy five years, restaurant  has excellent cheeseburgers, fish and shrimp baskets, and cheap drinks. The entire family can come but we recommend after 8:00 PM to leave the kiddies at home. The bar always has a sports event on, and the bar menu is extensive.

1712 Spring Arbor Road, Jackson Michigan (517-784-3602). On the Rink Rats scale of one to ten (with ten being best), we give The West Point Lounge a solid 8. For our mid-western readers we highly recommend.

NBA POWER RANKINGS – at the All-Star break, who are the best and worst in the National Basketball Association: (1). San Antonio Spurs, (2). Miami Heat, (3). Oklahoma City Thunder, (4). Los Angeles Clippers, (5). Memphis Grizzlies. Bottom Two: (29). Cleveland Cavaliers, (30). Charlotte Bobcats.

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday February 22, 7:30 PM ET, CBS; a big weekend at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Michigan has the #12 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish (19-12-1) visit #6 Western Michigan Broncos (18-8-6). Can the Bronocs stingy defense control the Domers high flying offense? Western 5 Irish 4.  (Season to date (6-2)

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS:  ice – (CCHA) Western 5 Notre Dame 4, (NHL) Montreal 3 N.Y. Rangers 2, auto – (NASCAR)  Jeff  Gordon to win the Daytona 500, film – (Oscars) best film is “Lincoln”.   Season to date (57-29)

THE HASSE CUP – Congratulations to Carrie L. for winning the 2012 Hasse Cup. The Hasse Cup is a symbol of sports and entertainment expertise. Trophy presentation will be this Thursday evening (February 21) at the Hi Brow Lounge in dynamic Pomona California, the presentation will be in the “Advancement Suite” at the Hi Brow. Master of Ceremonies for this years’ gala, Mr. Robert Earhart. The ceremony will be broadcast live on The Animal Planet Channel at 11:00 PM ET.

RINK RATS SHOUT OUT – this week to Mr. Peter Blair of Rochester, New York. An avid follower of this publication, Mr. Blair, St. Lawrence ’76, native of Ottawa, Ontario Canada. He is an educator, hockey fan, famous investor, and long-time friend.

DRIVING THE WEEKEND - "Tiger Woods Joins Obama on Links for Presidential Golf Vacation, Woods ... joined the president, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Jim Crane, an Obama supporter who owns the exclusive Florida course where they played, ... the Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, Florida. The White House confirmed that Woods was golfing with Obama hours after Tim Rosaforte, a correspondent for Golf Digest and the Golf Channel, [tweeted] that Woods was awaiting Obama's arrival at the club and that duo's first round together would mark a 'historic day in golf.' Golf Digest, in a report on its website, said that Butch Harmon, who created the club's instructional facility and is Woods' former coach, was also on the tee with Obama and Woods. 'The last tournament you played was fun to watch,' Obama told Woods, Golf Digest reported, citing Harmon. 'It's good to see you play well again.' ... The Floridian National Golf Club, with a course designed by Tom Fazio, is owned by Crane, 59, who also owns the Houston Astros."

Next week; Mid-winter movie pick and Jack Ass of the Month.

Until Next Monday, Adios!

Claremont, CA
February 18, 2013

#III-44, 149

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