Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Five

Rink Rats semi-annual listing of Top Five.

Top Five ….

Excuses to get an extension on a Case Paper:
1). Have a sick child
2). Work
3). “I don’t get it.”
4). Computer breakdown
5). The weather

Reasons to snub:
1). Low self-confidence
2). Not a clue
3). New partner
4). Alcohol
5). The weather

Reasons for City of Claremont to merge with City of La Verne Water:
1). Univ. of La Verne will pay for it, one way or another
2). More meetings at Roberta’s Diner
3). Golden State Water tastes bad
4). University House can have more parties
5). The weather

College Bars:
1). Fall Creek House, Ithaca, New York
2). Hoot Owl, Canton, New York
3). The Sink, Boulder, Colorado
4). Rick’s Café, Ann Arbor, Michigan
5). He’s Not Here, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Golfers in the world:
1). Adam Scott
2). Patrick Reed
3). Fred Couples
4). Suzanne Peterson
5). Graham McDowell

Say no to a union:
1). Find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa
2). Matt Witt
3). Dues
4). Too many meetings with Arts and Science Faculty
5). The weather

Say yes to a union:
1). Find out what happened to Jimmy Hoffa
2). More time off
3). Free tickets to Vegas
4). More meetings
5). The weather

Places to gamble:
1). Caesars Palace Casino
2). Mandalay Sports Book
3). Red Rock Casino
4). The Man Cave
5). Binions Gambling Hall

To not to purchase a text book for a Graduate level class:
1). Too cheap
2). Too cheap
3). Digital
4). Lazy
5). The weather

Best Hamburger:
1). Pebble Beach Lodge, The Tap Room, Carmel, CA
2). PJ Clarkes, New York
3). Rusty Nail Inn, Canton, Michigan
4). In N’ Out
5). The Side Door Saloon, Petoskey, Michigan

Plans for the summer:
1). Visit Dad
2). Read history
3). Cocktails
4). Quiet
5). Volunteer in the community

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL -- ERIC HAUSER, AFL-CIO Strategic Advisor and Director of Communications, on a new direction for the labor movement, in a forthcoming memo, "Raising Wages ": "Established as federation policy, Raising Wages will unify and expand everything the AFL-CIO does under a common framework. ... This development had its origins in our 2013 National Convention, which broke new ground in organizing strategies, worker empowerment, and community relations. The energy fostered and the decisions made at our Convention were immediately channeled into formulating Raising Wages as our unifying framework. ... You will hear about a steady flow of initiatives on everything from raising the federal minimum wage to breakthrough efforts to organize domestic workers."

ELLE MAGAZINE's "10 Most Powerful Women in D.C.": Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker; Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine, St. Lawrence University ‘74); Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii); Hillary Clinton adviser Cheryl Mills ("counselor, international entrepreneur, advocate"); D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier; former U.S. chief of protocol Capricia Marshall, now ambassador-in-resdience, Altantic Council; Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden; NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue; CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash; and POLITICO COO Kim Kingsley.

REMEMBERING ROBERT STAUSS - Dallas Morning News, bottom of 1A, "Democratic boss advised presidents," by Carl P. Leubsdorf: "Robert S. 'Bob' Strauss, the colorful Dallas lawyer who became one of the nation's top political figures as Democratic Party chairman and later held high governmental posts under presidents of both parties, died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in Washington. He was 95. ... He advised presidents of both parties, from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush, and was named to key government positions by Presidents Jimmy Carter ... and George H.W. Bush ...

"He once explained that he built a swimming pool at his Dallas home because, while none of his family particularly liked to swim, he liked to come home at night, fix a drink, sit by the pool and say, 'Bob Strauss, you're one rich son of a bitch.' ... Over the years, Strauss became legendary for his efforts on behalf of others, often with little or no publicity. He arranged adoptions for childless couples and helped raise legal defense funds for such leading Republicans as longtime Reagan advisers Lyn Nofziger and Michael Deaver.

--TOM BROKAW, sent from his iPad: "For my generation of political reporters, Bob Strauss was a treasure. Smart, plugged in, witty and self-deprecating, he knew what we needed and how to deliver it. Unfortunately, the best stories about him involve language and scenarios suitable only for the last call at 2 a.m. in the Wayfarer Inn bar [in New Hampshire]. Alas, the Wayfarer is gone, and now so is Bob. But the memories linger."

$80 MILLION FOR SIX WEEKS WORK? - Robert D. Marcus became chief executive of Time Warner Cable at the start of the year. Less than two months later, he agreed to sell the company to its largest rival, Comcast, for $45 billion. For that work, he will receive nearly $80 million if the deal closes, a severance payment that amounts to more than $1 million a day for the six weeks he ran the company ... 'It's not unprecedented, but it is rare and troubling,' said Robert Jackson Jr., an associate professor at Columbia Law School. 'There's something stunning about such big paydays for such a small amount of work.

The extraordinarily large exit package is just one more example of corporate America rewarding executives with outsize sums for sometimes minimal amounts of work, and it comes despite the growing debate over income inequality in America. ... So-called golden parachutes are common features in the employment contracts for public company executives, and they often reach stratospheric heights. And though Mr. Marcus is in line to receive a huge sum, his payout will not be anywhere close to the largest golden parachutes of all time.

BIG DEAL: APPLE/COMCAST EYE TV DEAL - Apple Inc ... is in talks with Comcast Corp. ... about teaming up for a streaming-television service that would use an Apple set-top box and get special treatment on Comcast's cables to ensure it bypasses congestion on the Web ... The discussions between the world's most valuable company and the nation's largest cable provider are still in early stages and many hurdles remain. But the deal, if sealed, would mark a new level of cooperation and integration between a technology company and a cable provider to modernize TV viewing.

Apple's intention is to allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programming and digital-video recordings stored in the 'cloud' effectively taking the place of a traditional cable set-top box. Apple would benefit from a cable-company partner because it wants the new TV service's traffic to be separated from public Internet traffic over the 'last mile'-the portion of a cable operator's pipes that connect to customers' homes ... That stretch of the Internet tends to get clogged when too many users in a region try to access too much bandwidth at the same time.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Marcus Allen (54), Robert Carradine (60), Aretha Franklin (72), Norah Jones (35), Henry Paulson (68), Tara Pugliese …famous teen chef, Gloria Steinem (80).

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - Richard C. Levin, who stepped down as president of Yale University in June, will next month become the chief executive of Coursera, a California-based provider of online academic courses.

Founded two years ago by a pair of computer science professors at Stanford University, Coursera enrolls seven million people in hundreds of free massive open online courses, or MOOCs, from more than 100 partner universities in 19 countries.

Mr. Levin, who has been an adviser to Coursera since January, has been experimenting with online education for years, beginning in 2000 in a partnership with Stanford and Oxford. In 2007, he started Open Yale Courses to make dozens of classes taught by Yale professors available without cost.

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday 3/28, 8:00 PM ET (ESPNU); NCAA regional matchup, #13 North Dakota (23-13-7) vs. #4 Wisconsin Badgers (24-10-2). Midwest Regional semi-final, Badgers win 5 – 4.  Season to date (7-4).


(NCAA Men’s Hockey, Mar. 29) #17 Denver Pioneers (20-15-6) vs. #3 Boston College Eagles (26-7-4), BC prevails 6 – 3.

(NHL, Mar. 29) Detroit Red Wings (33-24-14) at Toronto Maple Leafs (36-29-8), Red Wings end Leafs season end collapse, 4 – 2.

(NCAA Men’s Final Four): South – Florida Gators, West – Wisconsin Badgers, Midwest – Louisville Cardinals, East – Virginia Cavaliers.

2014 Season to date (18-21), ouch!

BRACKETOLOGY BLINK - No perfect brackets left on Quicken, Yahoo, CBS or ESPN -- A run of upsets ended any chance of someone having a perfect NCAA tournament bracket in Warren Buffett's $1 billion challenge. ... The final three people's brackets in the Quicken Loans contest ... had ninth-seeded George Washington beating Memphis. The Tigers won 71-66. ... It only took 25 games for everyone to be eliminated. ... Only 16 people remained perfect after 10th-seeded Stanford topped New Mexico. Then Tennessee routed UMass, leaving only six people ... Gonzaga's victory over Oklahoma State cut that down to the final three. ... The top 20 scores will still each get $100,000.

At CBSSports.com, only 0.03 percent of entrants were still perfect after Mercer upset Duke. The final remaining unblemished entries were also ruined by the Memphis win. ... After 28 games, all 11 million [ESPN] entries had at least one mistake.

MARKET WEEK - An up-and-down performance by stocks this month is putting March’s usual bullish performance at risk: the Dow and Nasdaq are both modestly negative for the month, while the S&P 500 is barely positive. The Dow and S&P 500 haven’t fallen in March since 2008; the Nasdaq since 2005.  However, stock index futures are pointing to a higher Monday open for U.S. stocks. No major economic reports are due Monday, although a busy week for numbers is ahead, with the latest on home prices, new home sales, consumer confidence, GDP, durable goods orders, jobless claims, personal income, and consumer spending all on the schedule.

DRIVING THE WEEK - Obama arrives in the Netherlands Monday where he will tour the Rijksmuseum then hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rutte ... In the afternoon, the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China. Obama will then travel to the World Forum at The Hague to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit ... In the evening, the President will attend a G-7 leaders meeting on the situation in Ukraine at Catshuis, the official residence of the Prime Minister ... Obama meets the Pope on Thursday.

Case-Shiller home prices Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. expected to rise 0.6% ... Consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to tick up to 78.6 from 78.1 ... Third estimate of fourth quarter GDP growth Thursday at 8:30 a.m. expected to 2.7% from 2.5% ... Univ. of Michigan Consumer Friday at 9:55 a.m. expected to rise to 80.5 from 79.9.

Next week: words and Jack Ass of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
March 25, 2014

#IV-49, 206

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Wee Bit O'Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

To help celebrate this day, first a Rink Rats list of the best twenty Irish Pubs we have had the pleasure of visiting:

Arcadia, CA: Matt Denny’s Ale House – Matt McSweeney proprietor says watch out for the Michael Collins

Atlanta, GA: The Marlay House – Jell-O shots to die for

Baltimore, MD: Mick O’Shea’s – try the “stew and brew”

Boston, MA: Eire Pub – the best corned beef sandwich

Canton, NY: The Hoot Owl – plenty of lime rickeys to go around

Canton Township, MI: The Rusty Nail Lounge – Robb McIsaac proprietor

Chicago, IL: Cork and Kerry – great beer garden

Dallas, TX: The Publiner – talk “real football” not The Cowboys football

Denver, CO: Nallen’s Irish Pub – Jameson and a pint (enough said)

Las Vegas, NV: McMullen’s – half dozen Irish beers on tap

Los Angeles, CA – Ireland’s 32 – really in Van Nuys

Nashville, TN: McNamara’s Irish Pub – Nosey Flynn, a great house band

New Orleans, LA: Finn McCool’s – Baileys and hot chocolate on a cold night

New York, NY: Molly’s Shebeen – bangers and mash, the best

Philadelphia, PA: McGillin’s Old Ale House – oldest operating tavern in Philly (1860)

Phoenix, AZ: Rosie McCaffrey’s Irish Pub – owner Seamus McCaffrey recommends the Guinness lamb stew

Portland, OR: Kells – great cigar room

San Francisco, CA: The Irish Bank – Irish coffee at it’s very best

Seattle, WA: Conor Byrne – 57 whiskeys on the drink list

Washington, DC: The Dubliner – near Union Station, only bar in D.C. to serve Smithwick’s pale ale


One night, Mrs McMillen answers the door to see her husbands’  best friend, Paddy, standing on the doorstep.
"Hello Paddy, but where is my husband? He went with you to the beer factory"
Paddy shook his head. "Ah Mrs McMillen, there was a terrible accident at the beer factory, your husband fell into a vat of Guinness stout and drowned"
Mrs McMillen starts crying. "Oh don't tell me that, did he at least go quickly?"
Paddy shakes his head. "Not really - he got out 3 times to pee!"

An Irishman was flustered not being able to find a parking space in a large mall's parking lot.
"Lord," he prayed, "I can't stand this. If you open a space up for me, I swear I'll give up drinking me whiskey, and I promise to go to church every Sunday."
Suddenly, the clouds parted and the sun shone on an empty parking spot. Without hesitation, the man said, "Never mind, I found one."

A Texan walks into a pub in Ireland and clears his voice to the crowd of drinkers. He says, "I hear you Irish are a bunch of hard drinkers. I'll give $500 American dollars to anybody in here who can drink 10 pints of Guinness back-to-back."
The room is quiet and no one takes up the Texan's offer. One man even leaves. Thirty minutes later the same gentleman who left shows back up and taps the Texan on the shoulder. "Is your bet still good?", asks the Irishman.
The Texan says yes and asks the bartender to line up 10 pints of Guinness. Immediately the Irishman tears into all 10 of the pint glasses drinking them all back-to-back. The other pub patrons cheer as the Texan sits in amazement.
The Texan gives the Irishman the $500 and says, "If ya don't mind me askin', where did you go for that 30 minutes you were gone?"
The Irishman replies, "Oh...I had to go to the pub down the street to see if I could do it first".

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend Finney.
"Did you see the paper?" asked Gallagher. "They say I died!!"
"Yes, I saw it!" replied Finney. "Where are ye callin' from?"

And Finally… Like the warmth of the sun
And the light of the day,
May the luck of the Irish
shine bright on your way.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Alexandria Ball …famous political consultant, Bonnie Blair (50), Lesley-Anne Down (60), Orrin Hatch (80), Eddie Money (65), Ric Ocasek (65), Bobby Orr (66), John Sebastian (70), World Wide Web (25).

JOE McGINNISS, who died last Monday at age 71, in "The Selling of the President 1968," his behind-the-scenes classic on the Nixon campaign's TV strategy, published in 1969: "Politics, in a sense, has always been a con game. The American voter, insisting upon his belief in a higher order, clings to his religion, which promises another, better life; and defends passionately the illusion that the men [!] he chooses to lead him are of finer nature than he. It has been traditional that the successful politician honor this illusion. To succeed today, he must embellish it. Particularly if he wants to be President. 'Potential presidents are measured against an ideal that's a combination of leading man, God, father, hero, pope, king, with maybe just a touch of the avenging Furies thrown in,' an adviser to Richard Nixon wrote in a memorandum late in 1967. ...

"Advertising, in many ways, is a con game, too. Human beings do not need new automobiles every third year ... It is not surprising then, that politicians and advertising men have discovered one another. And, once they recognized that the citizen did not so much vote for a candidate as make a psychological purchase of him, not surprising that they began to work together."

"Joe McGinniss and the dark arts of modern politics": "In 1968, when Roger Ailes was ... a whip-smart 20-something trying to make Richard Nixon look good in staged television town halls, he told a young journalist named Joe McGinniss, 'This is the beginning of a whole new concept. This is it. This is the way they'll be elected forevermore. The next guys up will have to be performers.' ... Just as the 'observer effect' in physics changes the very phenomenon being measured, McGinniss's rich and rollicking insider account helped change the way politicians and the press dealt with each other. 'The War Room,' 'Game Change' and even POLITICO's 'Playbook' are McGinniss's direct descendants.

"Before McGinniss, political reportage ranged from the kind of mindless daily box score, horse-race coverage that still endures, to Theodore H. White's stately, myth-making, novelistic narratives. After McGinniss, informed voters and readers could never again see politics in anything approaching the old heroic light ... A television-era candidate, McGinniss wrote, 'is measured not against his predecessors ... but against [the late talk-show host] Mike Douglas. How well does he handle himself? Does he mumble, does he twitch, does he make me laugh? Do I feel warm inside?'"

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - Parents of college-age kids and prospective students in the U.S. have probably heard admissions officers boast about the success of graduates in the job market. But now as college debt balloons, we find that schools are under increasing scrutiny to actually back up those claims with solid proof. Colleges, however, say that hurdles stand in the way of gathering and conveying meaningful figures. There is an intensifying debate over new efforts to measure the value of higher education—initiatives that are opposed by many schools. The controversy took a new turn last week when the New America Foundation think tank released a report criticizing school lobby groups for their efforts to "keep students in the dark" on outcomes information. What is the impact of college majors on salary prospects? Also what are the pros and cons for students and parents? These questions are increasingly being asked by potential college candidates.

MAUREEN DOWD, "Dems In Distress: Obama will never be king of the Democrats ": "So now Democratic panic has set in. ... Democrats in Congress are looking over at the White House and realizing that the president is not only incapable of saving them, but he looks like a big anchor tied around their necks. ... The state of relations between congressional Democrats and the administration has been deteriorating every week, but now it's hitting a new bottom ... Hill Democrats are seething at Obama ... Obama's approval ratings will shape the midterms, and some Hill observers compare his crumpling numbers to an illness. The president didn't do the basic things to take care of himself, and now he's gone terminal and contagious. ...

"Due to the inability of the president and congressional Democrats to move their agenda through Congress, the president is having to govern through executive order and revising federal regulations. Republicans have latched on to this to make the case ... that Obama is a dictator and an imperial president. But governing through executive order isn't a sign of strength. It's a sign of weakness. And it's that weakness that has Democrats scared to death."

OBAMA INTERVIEW GONE VIRAL - In case you somehow missed President Obama's appearance on "Between Two Ferns," catch it here, it's hilarious. http://bit.ly/1oJ3qkc

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - POPE FRANCIS MARKS 1 YEAR since his election - How a modest but canny man is approaching the complex task of leading the Roman Catholic church: High birth rates in the developing world mean the number of baptised Catholics, around 1.2 billion, continues to grow. But there is an ever-widening gap between the doctrines of the church with regard to sex and marriage and what Catholics, particularly in the developed world, think and do. Clerical sex-abuse scandals, and the church's complacent response, have also seen many Catholics in western Europe and North America turn away in disgust. A fear sometimes voiced privately in the Vatican is that Catholicism risks one day becoming a religion largely for Africans and Asians, confined elsewhere to a self-consciously reactionary fringe. Much therefore depends on this frugal, likeable man.

With a memorable pic of "The new pope mobile": "Benedict departed from the Apostolic Palace after his unexpected resignation in February 2013 in a Mercedes limousine. Francis drives a 1984 Renault of the sort owned by many French farm laborers’.

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Friday 3/21, 4:00 PM ET (FCS); ECAC semi-finals from Lake Placid, NY – Cornell University Big Red (17-9-5) vs. Union College Dutchmen (26-6-4), The Dutchmen go for their third straight ECAC title. Union wins big 6 – 2.  Season to date (6-4).


(NCAA Men’s Hockey, Mar. 21) Michigan State Spartans (11-17-7) at Ohio State Buckeyes (16-13-5) in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament; we like the boys in Green, MSU to pull the upset, 4 – 3.

(NHL, Mar. 22) Boston Bruins (45-17-5) visit Phoenix Coyotes (38-24-6), a must win for the desert dogs, and they do win, 3 – 2.

(NCAA Men’s Final Four): South – Florida Gators, West – Wisconsin Badgers, Midwest – Louisville Cardinals, East – Virginia Cavaliers.

2014 Season to date (17-20), ouch!

MARKET WEEK - With no surprises in Ukraine and Wall Street coming off a losing week, U.S. stock futures powered higher in early trading today. The Fed will be in focus this week, as Janet Yellen holds her first news conference as central bank chair. The week begins with several economic reports of note, starting with the Federal Reserve’s February reading on industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15 a.m. ET. Economists look for a 0.2 percent increase in industrial production, partially reversing a January drop of 0.3 percent, with capacity utilization remaining at 78.5 percent.

DRIVING THE WEEK -  Congress is gone for the St. Patrick's Day recess ... President Obama today meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas today "to review progress in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations" ... Lew is Sao Paulo today for meetings with Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega and Brazilian Central Bank Governor Alexandre Tombini "to discuss boosting global and regional growth" ... Lew is in Mexico on Tuesday ... Industrial production at 9:15 a.m. expected to rise 0.2 percent ... NAHB Homebuilder Survey at 10:00 a.m. expected to rise to 50 from 46 ...

Consumer prices at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.1 percent headline and core ... Housing starts at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise to 913K from 880K ... FOMC announcement at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday expected to include $10 billion more in tapering split between Treasuries and MBS ... Yellen meets the press for the first time as Chair at 2:30 p.m. ... Existing home sales at 10:00 a.m. Thursday expected to be unchanged at 4.62M ... Inded of leading indicators at 10:00 a.m. Thursday expected to rise 0.2 percent.

Next week: Rink Rats semi-annual Top Five listings, words and Jack Ass of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
March 17, 2014

#IV-48, 205

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cool Apps, Good Read, Fine Wine

Smart Thermostat: “Nest” Nest is a thermostat that learns your schedule and adjusts the temperature accordingly. Nest was designed by Tony Fadell, lead creator of the iPod.

Travel Organizing: “TripIt” Tripit is phenomenal for managing all of your itineraries.

Photo Manager: “Adobe Bridge” Take a lot of pictures on your iPhone, Adobe Bridge is super for downloading and organizing pictures.

Calendar App: “CalenGoo” Three or four distinct groups of people need to know where I am and what I’m doing (family, office, teaching, and sports). Working out shared permissions can be a real hassle. CalenGoo allows me to know that when I look at a day six months from now, I really am seeing everything I need to see.

GOOD READ – “Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life” by Graham Nash, Crown, 360 pages, $28. You like the tales of rock n’ roll, Graham Nash has set down his guitar and picked up his pen in reliving his glory years, or at least the parts he remembers. Nash, now 71 (I am getting old), is best known for his work with the Hollies and with Crosby, Stills and Nash (sometimes joined by Neil Young). But he grew up in Salford, possibly the worst slum in the north of England.

Readers still amazed by rock excess will get a fix in this breezy memoir. Mr. Nash’s standards “Teach Your Children” and “Our House” plus “Just a Song Before I Go” (written after a drug dealer bet him he couldn’t compose a song in under an hour), reminds us that rock stars live in a different financial universe then most fans.

Yet like other mortals, rockers grow old and are susceptible to putting on a righteous grump. He calls Neil Young “utterly self-centered” and takes aim at fatter targets, including George W. Bush, the tobacco lobby and rifles with “hundred-round clips”. Nevertheless he has become an American citizen, married for 36 years, and otherwise lives like a member in good standing of the Rotary Club.

GREAT WINE – “Oso Libre Winery”, 7383 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, California, (805) 238-3378. www.osolibre.com

Oso Libre Ranch meaning “Free Bear” in Spanish, which represents blended family names and the spirit of the early California pioneers.  In 1996, Linda and Chris Behr purchased 90 acres of raw land in the acclaimed Adelaida region of Paso Robles.  Slowly they developed the land and turned it into a sustainable, modern working ranch that you can visit today.  Jeff Freeland and his wife Elizabeth, along with their twin daughters, moved to the area in 2007 to help start the family owned and operated business, Oso Libre Winery.  Oso Libre opened in October 2009 after spending many years slowly learning how to grow vines and make wines.  The key ingredient to our successful Vines, Wines and Angus program is that they enjoy what they do and the lifestyle that comes with it!

Oso Libre produces award winning, artisanal estate wines in limited quantities. The sustainably farmed vineyards are deeply rooted in rugged calcareous (limestone) hills exposed to sunshine and ocean breezes consistently producing rich, complex fruit.  Harvest usually comes late in October or early November, which is at least six weeks longer than in warmer climates. This extended hang time for the grapes rewards the harvest with premium and sophisticated fruit, resulting in exceptional wine. Rink Rats highly recommends you to experience the distinct estate vintages, blends and dessert wines. Oso Libre has exceptional customer service and I encourage you to order online. They also have wonderful beef and a calendar full of great events to visit.

TOO RICH FOR MY BLOOD -- Singapore Overtakes Tokyo as World's Costliest  City: Singapore leapt five spots to top a global ranking of the most expensive cities as a stronger currency and price increases made it costlier to live in the island nation, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. ... Tokyo moved down ... after the yen slid ... Singapore ... has seen home prices surge to records in recent years amid rising wealth and an influx of foreigners. The expansion of the island's private banking industry and the presence of regional hubs for global companies have drawn more top talent, and senior executives in Singapore are earning more than those in Hong Kong.

--The 10 most expensive cities in the world: 1) Singapore ... 2) Paris ... 3) Oslo ... 4) Zurich ... 5) Sydney ... 6) Caracas ... 7) Geneva ... 8) Melbourne ... 9) Tokyo ... 10) Copenhagen

--The 10 cheapest large cities in the world: 131) Mumbai ... 130) Karachi ... 129) New Delhi ... 127-tie) Damascus, Kathmandu ... 126) Algiers ... 124-tie) Bucharest, Panama City ... 123) Jeddah ... 122) Riyadh

GREED IS GOOD - Blowout Haul for Buyout Tycoons, private equity's top moguls took home more than $2.6 billion last year as booming markets allowed their firms to cash out of investments and notch blockbuster gains. Nine founders of four of the world's largest private-equity firms together collected the sum-more than twice as much as they made in the prior year-through dividends and other payouts. The executives each took home more than $160 million ... Leon Black, the 62-year-old co-founder and chief executive of Apollo Global Management LLC, received the biggest individual amount, about $546.3 million ... That is well ahead of the $465.4 million that went to the runner-up, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone Group LP. KKR & Co. and Carlyle Group LP round out the quartet of publicly traded private-equity heavyweights.

The three founders of Washington, D.C., based Carlyle- David Rubenstein, William Conway and Daniel D'Aniello -together came away with about $750 million. Henry Kravis and George Roberts, the 70-year-old cousins who co-founded and run KKR (and Claremont-McKenna College Alumni and Board Members), brought home $161.4 million and $165.5 million.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Billy Crystal (66), Dana Delaney (58), Mike Love (73), Mitt Romney (67), Sharon Stone (56), Carrie Underwood (31).

CHINA DECLARES 'WAR' ON POLLUTION - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said pollution is a major problem and the government will 'declare war' on smog by removing high-emission cars from the road and closing coal-fired furnaces. Pollution is 'nature's red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development,' Li said today in his work report at the start of this year's National People's Congress in Beijing. 'Fostering a sound ecological environment is vital for people's lives and the future of our nation.

Li's remarks, delivered in China's equivalent of the U.S. president's State of the Union address, reflect government recognition of public displeasure over pollution and its impact on people's health. The weeks before the congress saw pollution stuck at unhealthy levels in much of northern China, prompting one government adviser to say smog had become 'unbearable.

SIX MEGATRENDS IN HEALTH CARE: 1) End of insurance companies as we know them - Effective date: 2025: Insurance companies will either become purveyors of management, analytics, and actuarial services or integrated delivery systems actually employing (or contracting with) hospitals, physicians, and other providers to render patient care ... 2) VIP care for the chronically and mentally ill - 2020: Physicians and hospitals will focus on keeping patients with chronic illnesses healthy and out of the emergency room and hospital ... 
routinely screening for depression and other mental health problems 3) The emergency of digital medicine and closure of hospitals -- 2020: Over 1,000 acute-care hospitals will close ...

4) End of employer-sponsored health insurance - 2025: Fewer than 20% of workers in the private sector will receive traditional employer-sponsored health insurance ... End of health care inflation - 2020: Health care inflation will be GDP+0% ... 6) Transformation of medical education -- 2025: three-year medical schools and shorter residencies ... half of medical school clinical training will be outside of hospitals.

THEY ARE AT THE GATE - Five potential Republican presidential candidates — Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Paul Ryan, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Chris Christie, and Sen. Marco Rubio — addressed activists at a yearly conservative gathering, providing a preview of what's to come in the next presidential race.

COLLEGE CHRONICLESThe president of Bard College, Leon Botstein, says recent changes to the SAT are motivated by the competition that College Board has experienced with its arch rival, the ACT, rather than any serious soul searching.

The changes recently announced by the College Board to its SAT college entrance exam bring to mind the familiar phrase “too little, too late.” The alleged improvements are motivated not by any serious soul searching about the SAT but by the competition the College Board has experienced from its arch rival, the ACT, the other major purveyor of standardized college entrance exams.

The blunt fact is that the SAT has never been a good predictor of academic achievement in college. High school grades adjusted to account for the curriculum and academic programs in the high school from which a student graduates are. The essential mechanism of the SAT, the multiple choice test question, is a bizarre relic of long outdated twentieth century social scientific assumptions and strategies. As every adult recognizes, knowing something or how to do something in real life is never defined by being able to choose a “right” answer from a set of possible answers (some of them intentionally misleading) put forward by faceless test designers who are rarely eminent experts. No scientist, engineer, writer, psychologist, artist, or physician—and certainly no scholar, and therefore no serious university faculty member—pursues his or her vocation by getting right answers from a set of prescribed alternatives that trivialize complexity and ambiguity.

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 3/15, 7:00 PM ET, Bravo; ECAC quarterfinals, #16 Yale Bulldogs (17-9-5) at #6 Quinnipiac Bobcats (22-8-6), can the defending National Champs get by in Hamden, CT. We like Yale with the experience 4 – 3.  Season to date (6-3).


(NCAA Men’s Hockey, Mar. 15) St. Lawrence University Skating Saints (15-17-4) at #17 Colgate University Raiders (17-12-5). A big weekend at Starr Rink between two old rivals. I could never figure out why Hamilton College is in Clinton, New York and Colgate University is in Hamilton, New York???  St. Lawrence in an upset 5 – 2.

(NHL, Mar. 15) Anaheim Ducks (43-14-7) at Los Angeles Kings (37-22-6), The Kings are hot, they win 3 – 2.

(D-III Game of the Week, Mar. 15) Women’s softball; University of La Verne (3-7) at University of Redlands Bulldogs (10-6).  Redlands is undefeated in SCIAC play, too much for the Lady Leos 8 – 4.

2014 Season to date (16-18), ouch!

MARKET WEEK - A Tale of Two Recoveries: Companies are launching initial public offerings at the fastest pace in years, thanks to a surging stock market and investor demand. In the first two months of this year, we note that 42 companies went public in the U.S., tying 2007 for the busiest start to a year for IPOs since 2000. Meanwhile, the booming U.S. stock market and rising home values have also contributed to more economic growth and wealth. The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofit organizations reached an inflation-adjusted record last year, but we note that benefits have been spread unevenly. The rebound has been tilted in ways that limit the upside for the broader U.S. economy, while contributing to a two-tiered recovery, and today we find out if the U.S. labor market's winter slump continued into February.

Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of the bear market closing low following the 2008 financial crisis. It was the next morning—March 10, 2009—that late “Squawk Box” and "Squawk on the Street" host Mark Haines famously declared, “I think we’ve seen the bottom.” The gains since then: 151 percent for the Dow, 178 percent for the S&P 500 and 242 percent for the Nasdaq Composite.

DRIVING THE WEEK - President Obama heads to NYC on Tuesday for DNC and DSCC fundraisers ... President Biden travels to Chile and the Dominican Republic ... Senate Banking has a hearing Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. on capital levels for insurers ... Senate Banking has its rescheduled Fed nominations hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. ... House Financial Services has a hearing Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. on the Fed's role in credit allocation ... NFIB survey at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday expected to tick down to 94.1 form 94 ... Retail sales at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to rise 0.2 percent, 0.1 percent ex-autos … Michigan Consumer Sentiment at 9:55 a.m. on Friday expected to rise to 81.8 from 81.6.

William Clay Ford Sr., 1925-2014 - He was the scion of one of America’s great industrial families. He owned the Detroit Lions, an NFL franchise that for too long has epitomized mediocrity. His philanthropy dispensed prodigious sums, especially for institutions that bore a founding connection to his grandfather — Henry Ford Health Systems and the Henry Ford Greenfield Village and Museum in Dearborn. He had his detractors, of course, chiefly long-suffering Lions fans who heaped every ounce of blame they could on the aging owner because he arguably was the only constant in a half century of missed opportunities, disappointments and an ignominious 0-16 season in 2008.

But that’s only a small part of a much more expansive legacy spanning cornerstones of Metro Detroit. Ford Motor Co. now is running on all cylinders, as are the iconic hospital and history museum named after his grandfather. He moved his beloved Lions back home, installing them in a Ford Field that is an anchor in the redevelopment of Detroit. Win or lose, those are huge.

Next week: Spring Break, The Luck of the Irish, and words of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
March 10, 2014

#IV-47, 204

Monday, March 3, 2014

How Do You Hire?

This is the time of year when many students ask me for recommendation letters for job prospects, advice on how to better prepare for job interviews or what is the best job for me.
Besides giving them the Chamber of Commerce answer, I also explain to them how I hire or recommend employees to clients.

Most people I interview have demonstrated that they’re successful at something. It’s my job to figure out what they’re good at, and that’s how I approach it. So it’s not a “gotcha,” but instead trying to understand, “Where are you going to succeed, and where are you going to be happy?”

I don’t believe in talking someone into a job. I spend a lot of time trying to understand where the person will thrive and what they want. They have to want to do the actual job we’re hiring for. So I like to paint a granular picture of the job — “Here is what you will do, and here are the hard parts and the parts that may not be so much fun.” I don’t want anyone to come in and say, “I didn’t realize I had to do this.”

A favorite question is, “Tell me the things that you didn’t like about your last job.” When you learn the things that get under people’s skin and make them dissatisfied, you can make the judgment about whether they’re going to work in your culture.

I think you want optimistic people who are problem solvers, not problem spotters. It’s easy to analyze what’s wrong, but if you come in and say, “I have an idea; here’s something we can do,” that’s so wonderful. You want people who give you energy, and not take energy from you.

FORBES BILLIONAIRES: Record 1,645 Billionaires Made the [28th annual] List of the World's Richest People ... Bill Gates Topped the List ... Has Been #1 for 15 of the last 20 Years ... [Carlos Slim #2; Amanacio Ortega of Spain's Zara fashion chain #3.] Warren Buffett (#4) with a net worth of $58.2 billion. [Larry Ellison #5; Charles and David Koch tied for #6.] American gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson (#8), increased his net worth by $11.5 billion, and made it back into the top ten for the first time since 2007. ...

The biggest net worth gainer was Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (#21), who more than doubled his fortune from $13.3 billion in 2013 to $28.5 billion as shares of his social network soared. The company's COO, Sheryl Sandberg (#1,540), made the list for the first time and is featured on one of this year's six covers. Given a $19 billion deal with Facebook, WhatsApp founders Jan Koum (#202) with a net worth of $6.8 billion, and Brian Acton (#551) with a net worth of $3 billion, joined the Billionaires list for the first time. ...

A record number of women made the list this year: 172 versus 138 in 2013, representing an increase of 25%. The U.S. boasted the most women billionaires on the 2014 list, with 58, followed by Germany with 16, and Brazil with 14. The highest ranked woman on the list, Christy Walton (#9), with a net worth of $36.7 billion, beat out Liliane Bettencourt (#11) [of L'Oreal, France. Jim Walton was #10.]

Thanks to the tech boom and strong equity markets , the U.S. led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 492, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111.Regionally, Europe boasted the most billionaires outside of the U.S., with 468 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific with 444. Wealth is stretching to new corners of the world, with four new countries represented on the list -- Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania, and Uganda. Aliko Dangote (#23) of Nigeria moved into the top 25, becoming the first African to rank that high, worth $25 billion. He moved up 20 spots and was ahead of many investment gurus, including Carl Icahn (#24), George Soros (#25), and John Paulson (#78).

AND THE WINNER IS - YEARS' BEST FILM: Searing slave drama, 'Gravity' are the night's big winners : Even though many Oscar voters found filmmaker Steve McQueen's searing chronicle of enslavement almost too harrowing to watch, '12 Years a Slave' prevailed Sunday to win the best picture trophy in one of the closest contests in modern Academy Awards history. In a ceremony in which the space thriller 'Gravity' collected a leading seven statuettes - including the first directing Oscar won by a Mexican-born filmmaker - the biggest honor went to the true-life account of the kidnapping and auctioning of Solomon Northup, a New York freeman bartered as a Louisiana cotton picker. ...

Owing to its unflinching representation of whippings, rape and lynchings, '12 Years a Slave' was not intended to be easy viewing. But it was continually buoyed by tremendous critical acclaim, and throughout the seemingly endless awards season it maintained momentum even when facing filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón's blockbuster 'Gravity' and writer-director David O. Russell's popular con game tale 'American Hustle.' McQueen became the first black director to make a best picture winner.

Number of Oscar wins, by film: 'Gravity' 7 ... '12 Years a Slave' 3 ... 'Dallas Buyers Club' 3 ... 'Frozen' 2 ... 'The Great Gatsby' 2 ... 'Blue Jasmine' 1 ... 'Her' 1.

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE -- Putin's Reckless Ukraine Gambit: President Obama's handling of the Western response to the Ukraine crisis is now arguably the biggest test of his presidency. It is a crisis that no one anticipated and that the West has been frustratingly divided over since the European Union's original, misguided attempt to force Ukraine to make an either-or choice about going east or west. For too long we have heard U.S. officials says repeatedly, 'The Europeans are taking the lead.' That needs to stop. ...

The break in the West's relations with Russia is bound to be deep and lasting. The G-8 will be its first casualty with the Western powers likely to reconstitute the G-7 in its original form as a direct rebuff to Putin. Other important international mechanisms -the U.N. Security Council, ad hoc diplomatic efforts on Syria, the P5+1 process on Iran, the Six-Party talks on North Korea, and so on-will be filled with renewed acrimony and dysfunction. Some may break down entirely. Inevitably, there will be congressional calls for sanctions against Russia, which the White House will be hard-pressed to resist no matter how much it may want to preserve the shreds of cooperation with Russia on Iran, Syria or Afghanistan. The West and Russia are in uncharted waters.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Lester Holt (55), Catherine O’Hara (60), Willard Scott (80).

COLLEGE CHRONICLES – Position Posted: Director of Fiscal Services, Pasadena City College. Under the direction of the Executive Director, Business Services, plans, organizes, and directs staff, activities, and operations related to the Fiscal Services department, including accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, financial reporting, student banking services, controller, bursar’s office, collections, and other functions. Employee works in an office environment with moderate noise levels, controlled temperature conditions, and no direct exposure to hazardous physical substances. Employee may interact with upset staff and/or public and private representatives in interpreting and enforcing departmental policies and procedures.

Established in 1924, Pasadena City College has been serving the San Gabriel Valley for more than 87 years. PCC enrolls more than 30,000 students each semester and offers 60 academic and 76 Career and Technical Education programs. The main college campus occupies an idyllic 53-acre site, while the Community Education Center and Child Development Center are located in separate facilities. The college is renowned for its high student transfer rate, national mathematics and forensic honors, and extensive study abroad offerings. PCC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For more information, go to www.pasadena.edu

STRAPPED FOR CASH:  They may be called student loans, but that doesn't mean they are always used for educational purposes. We find that Americans are lining up for federal student aid to take out low-cost loans, sometimes with little intention of getting a degree. "The only way I feel I can survive financially is by going back to school and putting myself in more student debt," says Ray Selent of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who has added $8,000 in student debt from living expenses since returning to school. Though it isn't clear exactly how much of the U.S.'s swelling $1.1 trillion student-loan debt has gone to living expenses, data and reports indicate that students are indeed borrowing for personal expenses. One government report found that a sample of universities and colleges had disbursed an average of $5,285 in loans to more than 42,000 students who didn't log any credits at the time.

TWENTY COLLEGES WITH RESTAURANT QUALITY DINING ON CAMPUS - The quality and variety of campus dining options can vary widely from school to school. The below list of schools were singled out for having the best food on campus.  To give you a taste, Rink Rats and associates selected some of our favorite menu items for a few of them (note:  we do not recommend writing a food article at lunchtime… we’re 100x hungrier now than when we started this article!).

Considering how many meals you’ll likely eat in the dining hall, we encourage you to check out and even eat lunch (if possible) in the campus dining hall during your college visit. In fact, many admission offices will give you a voucher for a free meal in the dining hall!

Carleton College:  Featured menu items for breakfast at the East Dining Hall this morning – Chorizo and egg breakfast skillet and a side of mint chocolate chip pancakes.  Yes, please!

Claremont McKenna College
Concordia College–Moorhead

Gettysburg College:  Bland vegetarian meals… nope, not at Gettysburg.  The Veggie Corner features items like Jamaican black beans with tofu and golden jewel rice .

Gustavus Adolphus College
Lawrence University
Lourdes University
Michigan State University
Occidental College

Pitzer College:  In true Cali style, Pitzer focuses on “farm to fork” meals.  On tonight’s menu, grilled cauliflower steaks with chicken kabobs.  Recipes for the nightly menus are even featured on their blog.

Roger Williams University
Scripps College
Skidmore College

St. Lawrence University: No better place to have a food fight.

St. Norbert College:  Think you’ll be missing the wings from your local BW3?  Not at St. Norbert!  Enjoy your Macho Nachos and chicken tender basket while watching the Green Knights at Dale’s Sports Lounge.

University of California, Davis
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of North Texas

COLLEGE HOCKEY PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 3/8, 7:00 PM ET, HGTV; Game #2 of the ECAC playoffs has #8 seed St. Lawrence University Skating Saints (13-17-4) hosting #9 seed Brown University Bears (11-15-3). Saints are tough in Appleton Arena, they will be celebrating at THE Owl, Saints win 5 – 3.  Season to date (5-3).


(NCAA Men’s Hockey, Mar. 8) Michigan State University Spartans (9-15-7)  at University of Michigan Wolverines (16-10-4). Big Blue 6 – 3.

(NHL, Mar. 8) Boston Bruins (38-17-5) at Tampa Bay Lightning (34-22-5), Tampa 3-2.

(D-III Game of the Week, Mar. 4) baseball; Chapman Panthers (6-4) at Cal Lutheran Kingsmen (4-1). Early battle for 2nd place, Cal Lu  7 -5.

2014 Season to date (16-15)

MARKET WEEK - With a rough start to March likely today, stocks are coming off their biggest February advances for the Dow and S&P 500 since 1998. The gains last month wiped out the worst start to a year since 2009. The government is out with personal income and consumer spending numbers for January at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists expecting a 0.3 percent increase in income, and a 0.1 percent rise in spending. Income had been unchanged in December, with spending up 0.4 percent.

A rare mutation gene has been found to protect against Type 2 Diabetes. Pfizer (PFE) and Amgen (AMGN) are looking to develop drugs that mimic the phenomenon.

DRIVING THE WEEK - The White House unveils fiscal year 2015 budget proposal Tuesday ... Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday on Fed nominees Stanley Fischer, Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard ... House Financial Services Oversight Committee hearing on "The Growth of Financial Regulation and its Impact on International Competitiveness" on Tuesday ... Financial Institutions Subcommittee hearing on data security on Wednesday ... Sen. Tom Carper hosts digital currency event on report by International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Wednesday ... Senate Agriculture Committee CFTC nomination hearing Thursday for Timothy Massad, Sharon Bowen and J. Christopher Giancarlo ... CFTC Acting Chairman Mark Wetjen testifies before a House Appropriations agriculture subcommittee Thursday ... House considers Rep. Michael Grimm's flood insurance bill (H.R. 3370) ... February jobs report on Friday.

Next week: Cool apps, the best wine via home delivery, and the read of the month.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
March 3, 2014

#IV-46, 203