Feburary 6th: Shawn Brown, The 401K Dupe

Can we blame our very own Wayne Veatch for the meltdown of the American Economy? 

Investment Pro, Shawn Brown has discovered a connection that may surprise you. Prepare to be entertained and learn more about the inner workings of the global economy from a true Wall Street insider.

Shawn Brown's career spans the entire investing landscape from trading on the NY Stock Exchange floor to being a DIrector at NY Mellon Bank. He advises high net worth individuals on the most current strategies and tactics for safeguarding investments and driving yield. He's a specialist in alternative asset class investing and will share insights from his over 20 years of investment experience. If you want to know where the smart money is going in 2013, make sure you join us this Wednesday.

Member News

By Pete Ratto
Photos by Betty Taisch

OK, Member News comes back live after a one week hiatus. 

Unfortunately, I have to open with bad news.  Red Starr passed away on Friday, February 1st, his ninetieth birthday.  Most of you probably know Red had taken ill after what was supposed to be some very minor surgery.  After surgery Red contracted a staph infection and simply was not strong enough to recover.  Red was a valued and loyal member of the GGBC since 1975.  In order to make each meeting, Red arose at 4:30AM to make the drive into San Francisco from Santa Rosa.  It was a great honor to know Red and I am deeply saddened by his passing.

Most of you probably didn’t even realize last week’s column was actually the column written for the unpublished 1/23/13 bulletin.  New President Harvey continues to strive to get the meeting to come to order on time.  Although this week President Harvey did not delegate the new multiple warning system to anyone.  Both the five and two minute warnings were handled personally by President Harvey

Attendance has dropped a bit, just about forty here this morning.  Come guys, didn’t anyone, except for John Hoch, make a New Year’s resolution to attend the GGBC more regularly?  Forty is only two thirds of our minimum.     

We had but a single guest this morning.  Hosted by Mike Mustacchi was fourth time visitor and GGBC applicant John Mathers.    

Not too many excuses requested this morning.  Frank Reed asked to excuse Eric McGarty.  Both of our carpools were running light today.  Les Andersen rode in alone and excused John McKnight, who was not feeling well this morning.  The Sonoma/ Marin Carpool was down to only John CribbsRoy Wonder is still travelling and Jill Hoffman is fighting a bad cold.  John also asked to be excused next week, as he will be in Utah. 

Members that have returned; Past President Hugh Tuck is back from the Bahamas where he was busy recruiting revolutionaries to help in his take over of the GGBC.  Since Past President Hugh arrived alone this morning, it appears he will remain Past President Hugh

Patricia Fripp returned from London where she attended her Uncle Bill’s funeral.  Uncle Bill had a great sendoff with the color guard from the RAF’s 57 Squadron in attendance to render honors.  Fripp also made the cover of Speaker’s Magazine.  A great photo and Patricia says there’s not a wrinkle over thirty-two in that pic.  Ah, the magic of the air brush.  Fripp also sprung for $9.95 to get the GGBC another rubber chicken. Since our original chicken has been upgraded to “Goldie”, Fripp senses there’s a reluctance to award Goldie, unless the joke is extraordinarily awful.  Now, President Harvey has a chicken to award for our normally awful jokes.  Fripp even told a joke herself this morning.  About long time friends, ageing and memory loss.  It was long, but not chicken worthy and was this morning’s only joke.              

Back from the California Association of Realtors convention in Monterey is Betty Taisch.  After the convention, Betty went up to Tahoe and says she’s never been so cold in her life.

Also back to breakfast is Cathy ScharetgCathy says she was absent, but she’s not silent.

This morning we welcomed our first new member of 2013, Jerome Stroumza with the customary new member round of applause.  Don’t get used to it Jerome. It will never happen again.

As mentioned previously, Patricia Fripp told the morning’s only joke.  Both Alan Garber and Marty Mijalski were present, but not in a joke telling mood.  Garber pulled out this morning’s Examiner which featured a front page story on bicycle thefts.  Supervisor Eric Mar wants to hold a public hearing, because he had two bikes stolen right out of his garage.  Bert Hill chimed in to let us know that Board President David Chiu has had three bikes stolen.  I don’t think it’s necessary to hold a public hearing.  My advice, don’t leave your garage door open.  Plus, Bert asks what’s worse; bike Critical Mass or car Critical Mass like what happened on 880 near the Oakland Coliseum this past Saturday. 

Marty’s wife Patti decided to clean out the medicine cabinets and ended up with a lot of expired medications.  So, Marty, inspired by me, decided to do the right thing and dispose of the medications properly.  Not just tossing them in the garbage or flushing them down the toilet.  Marty left his home in Castro Valley and headed for his local Rite Aid.  Rite Aid didn’t accept them and suggested Marty drop them off at Kaiser Hospital.  Kaiser didn’t accept them, so Marty tried Mt. Eden Hospital, which didn’t accept them either.  Marty was finally able to get rid of the medications at Waste Management’s Davis Street Transfer station in San Leandro.  Too bad Marty doesn’t live in San Mateo County where every town’s police station has an expired medications box right out front.  Of course Past President Hugh lives in San Mateo County and Hugh just usually tosses his expired medications into the bay as he drives down the Candlestick Causeway.                    

In preparation for the expected Super Bowl Victory Celebration this coming Sunday, Dan Negron reports Recology will be collecting the garbage and recycling in the Mission District on Saturday and early on Sunday morning.  This way the revelers will be deprived of their major fuel source, our plastic collection carts and their contents, when they try to set bonfires.     

Jonathan Stone was at the airport and realized he had his Swiss Army Knife in his pocket.  The TSA, as expected, confiscated the knife, but had Jonathan put the knife in a pouch and the TSA said they’ll mail it back to him.  It’s been almost a month and Jonathan hasn’t seen the knife yet.  But, Stan Ellexson says his confiscated little scissors made it back to his possession in slightly less than a month.  So, Jonathan still has hope.  

Sidney Mobell is now down to fourteen excuses remaining.  Sidney’s iPad died, so he sent a message via his smart phone from Starbucks in Dubai.  As long as you can find a Starbucks with its Wi-Fi hot spot, you’ll always stay in touch.     

J. J. Panzer doesn’t understand why Lance Armstrong is so special.  After all, J. J. has just as many Tour de France victories as Lance (zero) and twice as many testicles (two).

Sitting next to Stanford grad John Stewart, Phil Moscone made sure to mention that Cal pounded Stanford in Rugby.  Given that John has now inherited Phil’s old job, administering all those courts, John pretty much let that one slide.

Also, after over fifty years in practice, Tom Smegal will be giving it all up as Tom has been appointed as a Federal Administrative Patent Judge in the Office of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board.  Tom’s appointment is effective this coming February 24th and Tom’s new office will be in the yet to be opened Silicon Valley satellite office.  By the way, Tom needs an excuse for this morning as Tom is in Tampa.

Joel Panzer relayed the news that Russ Gorman on the binnacle list.  Russ took a fall, broke his hip and is now in a rehab facility.  Cards will be welcomed and here’s the address:

San Ramon Regional Medical Center
6001 Norris Canyon Road Room 240
San Ramon, CA  94583

Todd Lewis, who also resides in San Ramon, says he will pop in and keep tabs on Russ.

Also on the binnacle list, but recovering is Ken Brown.  Still on crutches though.  Ken does thank the membership for all your good thoughts and wishes.

Although Terry Cowhey’s job in LA is stalled, fortunately Terry’s water tunnel job in Sunol seems to be moving along.  Terry says the inspectors ride around the job site on bikes.  Except they don’t have to ride too far as they arrive at the job site in their $70K crew cab with the bikes back in the bed.

David Dissmeyer says this is California’s third driest January in history.  If this keeps up, maybe we won’t need Terry’s water tunnel.

Arlan Kertz says today (Wednesday, January 30th) is the first day the IRS will accept your tax return.

Two weeks ago Chuck Mills lamented on the construction coming to our neighborhood.  Chuckles thought seven hundred units were going to be built right across the street from Chuckles’ office.  Turns out it’s not so bad.  Only a hundred units will go up across from Chuckles’ office.  The other six hundred are being built in the site of the Concourse, a block north.  Bottom line though, Chuckles still loses his parking space. 

I normally don’t comment on the Secretary’s minutes, but I was duly impressed this morning by Guest Secretary Mike Mustacchi’s delivery of the minutes in Italian.  Not flawless, but quite good.  Shades of Broccoli Zucchini and Romeo Tortellini as the other Mike, Hanlon, provided the translation.  Buon lavoro Michele, boun lovoro!       

Two weeks ago, Attendance Chairman Hedy Kaveh was pleased as everyone signed the attendance sheet.  Not this week.  Even though Rickey Wilson was absent, regular scofflaws Mike Mustacchi and Terry Cowhey didn’t sign the list.

New President Harvey wants to change our birthday celebration procedures.  If the celebrants are not present, the birthday song will not be sung.  I don’t think that’s a tradition we want to give up.  That kind of crazy stuff was never suggested during Past President Hugh’s term.  Fortunately for Mike Hanlon, one birthday boy, Jonathan Stone, was here to wear the hat and be properly serenaded.  Also celebrating, but not present, Noah Griffin on Thursday.  And as mentioned at the top of the column, Red Starr’s ninetieth was on Friday.    

New President Harvey did keep one tradition alive this morning.  Past President Hugh Tuck was presented with his Chelsea clock for his year of dedicated service to the GGBC.  Why do all the Past Presidents get a Chelsea clock?  When I get a week where the membership doesn’t talk enough and I have to fill the column, I’ll tell you the whole story.

I hope you paid your dues by now.  Because, if you didn’t you’re going to be giving Treasurer Ray Siotto $280.00.    

If there is one benefit of writing this column, as my mentor Dick Pohli always said, we have the prerogative to editorialize when we see fit.  Neither Dick, nor I, ever took/take that prerogative very often.  We had an incident this morning that I feel requires my pontification, though.  The GGBC’s Board has always encouraged inviting speakers that offer a wide and diverse presentation of subjects.  Often that will mean you may not necessarily agree with the speaker’s take on their respective subject matter.  Our programs always allow for the membership to ask questions of the speaker.  At all times though, those questions should be presented in a respectful manner and a member should never resort to what could be considered a personal attack upon the speaker.  You can challenge a speaker, but you should always do so with a good measure of civility.  Remember, our speakers receive nothing in the form of compensation from the GGBC, other than a free breakfast and hopefully a morning of good fellowship and our own form of friendly humor.  I have also noticed, and other members have commented as well, that the amount of what can be considered “purposely audible, mumbled heckling” seems to be increasing.  If I can hear it, with my questionable hearing ability, that means the speaker can hear it too.  This is not in the spirit of the GGBC’s hospitality, and it too is rude and disrespectful.  We need to clean up our act to assure our reputation is not damaged, so we can continue to attract a wide spectrum of speakers.  Even those that we do not necessarily agree with.



By Harvey Elam


Could this have something to do with why BOTH the President and Speaker of our House (the “Objects”) are each branded alternately as “ intransigent” and “giving away the store,” even by their own parties?

Wikipedia defines Parallax: “A simplified illustration of the parallax of an object against a distant background due to a perspective shift. When viewed from ‘Viewpoint A,’ the object appears to be in front of the blue square. When the viewpoint is changed to ‘Viewpoint B,” the object appears to have moved in front of the red square."