Thursday, September 29, 2016

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer, the champion golfer whose full-bore style of play, thrilling tournament victories and magnetic personality inspired an American golf boom, attracted a following known as Arnie's Army and made him one of the most popular athletes in the world, died on Sunday, according to a spokesman for his business enterprises. Palmer was 87. The spokesman, Doc Giffin, said the cause of death was complications from heart problems. ... Palmer died Sunday evening at UPMC Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Almost everyone has an Arnold Palmer story, I have three:

1964 Carling World Open golf tournament at Oakland Hills Country Club Birmingham, Michigan: my grandfather Walter Hannuam, for my birthday, took me to see my first golf tournament. On the first tee, Arnold Palmer, he hit his drive and all I remember is it going completely out of sight. I took some pictures with my Brownie camera; for the life of me, I could not find them for this piece.

1983 Rancho Park Golf Club Los Angeles, California: the Los Angeles Open was played at Rancho Park  that year since the PGA Championship was at Riviera Country Club. Arnold Palmer was playing; I followed him and Gary Player around the course. At the end of the day I was walking back to the parking lot, and there sitting on the trunk of his Cadillac, taking off his shoes, and having a beer with his caddie was Arnold Palmer. No one was around them, all by themselves, in their socks, drinking beer. Should I go over and ask for an autograph? As I got closer to Mr. Palmer, (true story) he called out, “Would you like a beer?” To be honest I remember very little after that, I froze, did not know what to do. I mumbled something like no thank you and continued on my way. No autograph, no picture, no beer, what an idiot I was! In looking back at my stupidity, I only think how great it was that he called out to me for a beer.

1993 Bob Hope Desert Classic, La Quinta Country Club La Quinta, California: my final time seeing Arnold Palmer. I was following his foursome with Bob Hope, President Ford, and Tip O’Neil. This is not so much an Arnold Palmer story but without him on the course this would of never of happened. When you watch live golf you want to find a good spot to watch the players, so I went a hole ahead of the Palmer, Ford, Hope, O’Neil foursome to get a good view of their tee shots. Mr. Palmer hit first from the back tees, as I was watching him get setup to hit his drive, here comes President Ford who stops right next to me to watch Arnie’s drive. President Ford placed his arm on my shoulder to rest and says to me, “Arnie can sure hit a nice ball.” Since this was ten years after my screw up in the parking lot at Rancho Park, I was not going to blow this one. I mentioned to President Ford he was correct and that I was from his home state of Michigan. His eyes widen when I said that, he said he was from Grand Rapids and asked where I was from (Birmingham). He then asked “Blue or Green.” Of course I said “GO BLUE.” He smiled, shook my hand and off he went.

Three sports memories that I will cherish forever, Arnold Palmer, rest in peace.

AMERICANS NOT QUITE READY TO LET GO OF THE WHEEL - Though 63 percent of Americans think self-driving cars would make roads safer, they're evenly split on whether they're ready to give up some control in exchange for that safety boost. That's the word from a new Kelley Blue Book survey of Americans' attitudes toward driverless cars. Researchers found that the "sweet spot" was so-called level-four autonomous vehicles, which do the driving so one can relax but also take the controls at any time. That's similar to the "autopilot" function in airplanes. But, so far, there's no automotive option like it on the consumer market. The survey found that nearly one in three Americans said they would "never" buy a fully autonomous vehicle without controls that can be operated by a human.

MUSK ON MARS - Elon Musk laid out a vision of travel to Mars that was heavy on both technology - the how of getting there - and on the dangers that await those first explorers just a decade from now. The first journey will be very dangerous, and the risk of fatality will be very high, Musk said during a highly anticipated presentation at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. 'Are you prepared to die? Then you are a candidate for going.'

Mars - population zero - offers a way for Earth's 7 billion-plus humans to ensure the future of the species against possible extinction events, the billionaire founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said. He envisions spacecraft holding dozens of passengers voyaging to the Red Planet within a decade, if all goes well, at fares that would start at roughly $200,000 but drop in price over time. The presentation brought both rounds of applause from the audience, and questions. I have a couple of people I would like to buy a ticket for….

TWITTER FOR SALE? - Disney and Microsoft reportedly mulling bid for Twitter: The Walt Disney Company and Microsoft could be interested in purchasing Twitter, adding to the list of potential suitors and fueling speculation on Monday that the tech firm might be moving closer to a deal. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Disney is working with a financial adviser to consider a possible bid for the struggling San Francisco tech firm.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Bryant Gumbel (68) Huntington, N.Y.; Gwen Ifill (61) Washington D.C.; Steve Lesniak …famous wine expert.

THE RATINGS: HUGE - The first general election debate ... averaged 84 million viewers across 13 channels, according to data from Nielsen, making it the most watched presidential debate in modern history. Until last night, the most-watched debate in history was the 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. That debate averaged just over 80 million viewers. With a few networks still to be counted by Nielsen, and the 80 million figure not including anyone who watched online, last night's debate will end up with more people watching than any prior presidential debate.

In 2012, the first debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama averaged 70 million viewers. In 2008, the first debate between John McCain and Obama averaged 53 million viewers. On cable news, Fox News led the way with more than 11 million viewers. NBC led the broadcast networks with more than 18 million people tuning in.

The ratings put the debate in rare company. Of TV programs that drew an average of more than 80 million viewers, most were NFL Super Bowl broadcasts, with the others were the finales of M.A.S.H. and Cheers. Of course, the debate aired on a dozen TV networks and streamed online, whereas the Super Bowl and M.A.S.H. only aired on one channel each.

WALL STREET’S TOP CONCERN: 2016 — A new study by Investment Media Solutions of 2,760 investors and financial industry execs “found that the election was the top economic concern … above GDP growth, interest rates, geopolitics and corporate earnings. From the study of top concerns: 48 percent the outcome of the American election cycle; 34 percent weak GDP and economic growth in the U.S.; 23 percent terrorism and other geopolitical turmoil; 22 percent interest rates.”

SIREN -- ARIZONA REPUBLIC BREAKS TRADITION, ENDORSES CLINTON -- Endorsement: Hillary Clinton is the only choice to move America ahead: "Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. This reflects a deep philosophical appreciation for conservative ideals and Republican principles. This year is different. The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified.”

Days until the 2016 election: 40.
Days until the vice presidential debate: 5.

JACKASS OF THE MONTH - John Stumpf, the chief executive and chairman of Wells Fargo & Co will forfeit $41m in pay awards and some of his salary as the board launches an investigation into bank's aggressive sales tactics. The scandal, involving the creation of as many as 2m bogus accounts and credit cards for retail clients without their knowledge and in an effort to inflate sales numbers, hit targets and boost bonuses, has seen Wells hit with a record $185m fine and more than 5,000 staff lose their jobs.

It has also cost Mr Stumpf his advisory post at the Federal Reserve in San Francisco. As well as announcing the forfeiture of Mr Stumpf's pay awards and those of Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of the retail banking division, the Wells Fargo board announced it was launching an investigation into the affair, which had been uncovered by regulators. They are under pressure to show how it is dealing with executive accountability ahead of Mr Stumpf's upcoming appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on September 29.

Congratulations Mr. Stumpf you are Rink Rats Jackass of the Month.

Another College hockey season begins this weekend, The Swami of course has his preseason selections.


            1). North Dakota Fighting Hawks
            2). Quinnipiac Bobcats
            3). Boston University Terriers
            4). Denver Pioneers
            5). Boston College Eagles


            1). Quinnipiac Bobcats
            2). St. Lawrence Saints
            3). Harvard Crimson
            4). Yale Bulldogs
            5). Clarkson Golden Knights

NFL GAME OF THE WEEK – Sunday 10/2, 5:30 PM ET, NBC; Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1). Two hopeful playoff contenders battle at Heinz Field, Steelers win 24 – 17. Season to date (2-1)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/1, 1:00 PM PT, ABC: #8 Wisconsin Badgers (4-0) vs. #4 Michigan Wolverines (4-0), five opening home games for Michigan – too much home cooking. Badgers win an upset 17 – 14. Season to date (4-0)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 10/1, 1:00 PM ET, HGTV: Middlebury College Panthers (1-0) vs. Colby College White Mules (1-0). The preppie game of the year, you will not be admitted in Waterville, Maine without a Polo on your shirt. White Mules rule 24 – 20.   Season to date (2-2)


(NFL, Oct. 2) Oakland Raiders (2-1) visit Baltimore Ravens (3-0). Shades of the old Raiders, they win in Baltimore, 30 – 27.

(NCAA-SCIAC, Oct. 1) SCIAC season begins; University of La Verne Leopards (0-2) at California Lutheran Kingsmen (0-2). La Verne has more balance, just don’t get hurt: Leos win in the Valley 34 – 28.

(NCAA BCS, Oct. 1) #3 Louisville Cardinals (4-0) vs. #5 Clemson Tigers (4-0), big ACC tilt, Clemson wins wild one; 45 – 42.

(Ryder Cup, Oct. 2) Can the USA win in Minnesota? Yes, USA 15 – Europe 13.

(MLB, Oct. 1) Los Angeles Dodgers (90-68) at San Francisco Giants (83-75), Vinnie’s last game, Giants last chance. Dodgers win 5 – 4.

Season to date (66-52)

MARKET WEEK - Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who floundered before Senate Banking, appears before House Financial Services at 10:00 a.m. ... University of La Verne Integrated Business Program prepares their Business Plans… Third estimate of Q3 GDP at 8:30 a.m. expected to be revised up to 1.3 percent from 1.1 percent.

DRIVING THE WEEK - There’s the debate and then there’s everything else. And everything else is not even close.  Tarullo speaks on stress-testing and capital at 11:45 a.m. at Yale … Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be in Buenos Aires on Monday … House Financial Services subcommittee has a hearing Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. on the Financial Stability Board … Former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg is expected to testify Tuesday in his civil fraud trial … Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifies Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. before House Financial Services on supervision and regulation (and whatever else people want to ask her) … House Financial Services has a Wells Fargo hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. … Third estimate of Q3 GDP at 8:30 a.m. Thursday expected to be revised up to 1.3 percent from 1.1 percent.

Next week: What is on the iPod? Dear Rink Rats.

Until Next Time, Adios.

Claremont, CA

September 28, 2016

CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Warp, The New Yorker

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