Monday, July 28, 2014

The Kitchen Cabinet

This past week with “Three Score Years” taking place, I thought it a good time to engage with my “Kitchen Cabinet”. What is a “Kitchen Cabinet”?

A “Kitchen Cabinet” is those individuals you trust the most, those who can yell at you and hug you, explain that you are a jerk, or just be there when you need someone. Ronald Reagan had a “Kitchen Cabinet”, President Obama has a lousy “Kitchen Cabinet”, POTULV has a “Kitchen Cabinet” and even Mayor Let’s Close from Tammany Hall has a “Kitchen Cabinet”. I don’t think the Pin Ball Wizard has a “Kitchen Cabinet”, due to the fact he always wears black.

A “Kitchen Cabinet” does not have to be a family member, just those few close confidants who you respect their opinion and cherish their trust.

My “Kitchen Cabinet” members do not know they are my “Kitchen Cabinet”, I like it that way…keeps them on their toes. This past week we had a “Cabinet” meeting. The talking points were: lose weight, dye your hair, eat healthy, bankers, entitlement in higher education, wardrobe and my schedule (the usual scenarios). But a new topic emerged from this distinguished group – retirement. What is your plan? “We don’t see you retiring.” Are you kidding, of course I will retire! But not retire from life.

Retirement: just the word is creepy. Like my Father, I will never retire. It is not the money, but that is important, it is keeping busy. Retirement is helping others, passing on what I learned and not learned in my life.

What did I take away from this past week “Kitchen Cabinet” discussions? I need a new “Kitchen Cabinet” and that I can’t express how much I look forward to the next one or two score years. The challenges of health, financial planning, my golf game, the Red Wings, and of course the “Kitchen Cabinet” make the future look so much fun!

CLEANING THE GARAGE – There is a book on my summer reading list, that I know will stay in the far corner of my desk and never be touched: The Art of Minimalist Organization, by Ben Light. Why untouched? The title scares me, Minimalist Organization.

A new revolution is currently taking place, one that looks set to change how we view ourselves and the objects around us.  This new, groundbreaking revolution is the practice of minimalism.  Cleaning and organizing your garage can be an overwhelming task due to excess clutter.  This is especially true if you are not practicing minimalism.  This book looks to help you clean your garage and teach you about minimalist organization in the process.

I have always dreamed to have a garage that looks like this:

Can this book save me and my garage? Or turn me into a minimalistic nut?

Stay tuned to future Rink Rats…..

COLLEGE CHRONICLES – At 4:15 a.m. on a crisp summer morning, a vice president for finance made small talk outside the downtown Sheraton while awaiting an airport shuttle on the final day of the 2014 annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).

“I thought Bill Gates was really good,” he said. A day earlier, the billionaire philanthropist had drawn loud and long applause from some 3,000 higher-education administrators with remarks that might have gotten him pelted with fruit if he’d voiced them before a crowd of college professors: MOOCs embedded with hyperlinks will soon supplant the lecture, and a renewed push for faculty unions would be unfortunate for higher education at this critical juncture.

But Mr. Gates wasn't the only one at the conference to utter thoughts that would have riled much of the professoriate. Shared governance, shared services, and too-small classes were among the week’s heavily discussed topics, but the culture gap with the faculty was a strong undercurrent.

The college vice president agreed that some of the proposals discussed for fixing the broken financing model for higher education might alienate some faculty members. But “they don’t see what we see,” he said.

That may change if college business officers heed the command of the association, known as NACUBO, to go forth and educate their campus “stakeholders” on the current realities of higher-ed financing. The faculty could just be the most important component of that group, as one commenter observed during a session.

“President come and go. Students come and go. Trustees come and go,’ the commenter said. “Professors are eternal.” If their colleges survive.

Thank you Chronicle of Higher Educaton, August 1, 2014.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Tony Bennett (88), Tom Brady (37), Ken Burns (61), Marcel Dionne (63), Tim Gunn (61), President Obama (53), Alessandro Suffredini …famous nephew about to begin high school.


Major League Baseball Game of the Week – Saturday August 2 (7:15 PM ET): Milwaukee Brewers (59-47) at St. Louis Cardinals (56-48), a battle for National League Central Division first place, Cardinals 6 The Brew Crew 3.

2014 Season to date (40-36)

DRIVING THE WEEK - Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and other administration officials conduct a press briefing on the Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports at Treasury ... Pending homes sales at 10:00 a.m. today expected to rise 0.5 percent ... Case-Shiller home prices at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to rise 0.3 percent ... Conference Board consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday expected to tick up slightly to 85.5 from 85.2 ... First read on Q2 GDP at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday expected to show a gain of 3.0 percent ... FOMC statement on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. expected to include minimal changes and another $10B taper ... July jobs report at 8:30 a.m. Friday expected to show a gain of 231K and no change to the 6.1 percent jobless rate ... Congress set to recess for five weeks on Friday and will come back with limited time for a CR, Ex-Im reauthorization and other top items unless deals get made this week ... Argentina could default on its debt by Wednesday barring a deal with hedge fund investors.

Summer in the City: It is that time of year where Rink Rats has a summer break: the next three weeks we will have our annual cartoon edition, and two guest bloggers. Enjoy, we will see you on August 25 with our regular Rats.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

San Luis Obispo, CA

July 28, 2014

#V-15, 224

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