March 27th: New Kids with a Twist!


March 27th: New Kids with a Twist
April 3rd: Rosalind Franklin, Life Coach
April 10th: Bo Links
April 17th: Fripp Day: A Tribute to Uncle Bill


Who are some of the new faces you've been noticing around breakfast recently? Come this Wednesday to find out. Here's your opportunity to get to know a few of our newest members. including a very special twist that you'll have to see to believe. This will be a "New Kids" that you wont want to miss.


President Harvey must have gotten a bit distracted this morning, as our five minute warning was delivered a bit late.  More like a two minute warning.  Yet, for the second week in a row, the membership was unusually compliant, managed to get breakfast and sit down in fairly short order.  Bad for me because I was still eating my breakfast and was not at all ready to pull out my pen and paper.  

In anticipation of a bigger than usual crowd for Vice Admiral Zukunft, Jorge bumped us up to nine tables with eight seats each.  For those of you that have trouble with math, that’s seventy-two seats as opposed to our usual capacity of fifty-nine.  We managed to fill sixty-four.       

Only five guests this morning.  Hosted by Bill Buchanan was fellow former Marine John Bell.  This is John’s third visit to the GGBC, and John has turned in his application to Membership Chair Wayne VeatchRich Corriea brought along his fellow SFO colleague, Alan Jones from the Department of Homeland Security.  Since Ed Flowers’ son George is still here in San Francisco on vacation, Dad decided to bring George to breakfast again for the second week in a row.  Finally, our Chairman of the Day, Stan Ellexson, hosted two members from our speaker’s staff, aide Roger Nayden and Mrs. DeNinno.  No first name on the guest sign-in sheet.  Even Mrs. Peel had a first name.   

Excuses requested for this morning; Jerome Stroumza asked to excuse Don Persky, as Don has his big fund raiser for the Korean Immersion Education Alliance this evening.  Did Jerome look unusually happy and relieved this morning?  Maybe that’s because his thirteen year old son was admitted to Lowell.  Reg Young dutifully excused Mike Hanlon, as Mike is continuing his recovery from rotator cuff surgery, and Jim SimpsonJim doesn’t have any early patients this morning, but Jim himself will be an early patient.  Jim will be the first victim in Dr. Jacob’s chair today.  Frank Reed asked to excuse Eric McGarty and Jackson Talbot.  Except, Jackson was here.  Why wasn’t Jackson in his usual spot at the security table?  Jackson admitted he was so late this morning he even held the elevator door for Tom JacobsMike Mustacchi excused our second newest member, John Mathers, who was under the weather this morning.  Joel Panzer reminds us that Patricia Fripp has left Houston and is now in Rhode Island.  Given the weather in Rhode Island, I bet Fripp was wishing she started her trip in Rhode Island and returned via Houston, as opposed to the other way around.  

It’s a good thing Ken Brown has recovered sufficiently to finally be able to get rid of his last crutch.  His driver, Marty Fleisher, asked to be excused next week.  Marty is heading to New York City to see his son and then on to DC for Passover.  

Members that have returned; Cathy Scharetg, whose son just started playing rugby.  Cathy asked Phil Moscone, the father of two rugby players, if that thudding sound they make when they get knocked to the ground is normal.  Todd Lewis, back from Southern California among other places, saw son “T-Rex” hit his first grand slam.  Todd says don’t offer him any credit or thanks for the Bay Bridge light show because those aren’t his lights.  But you can give Todd credit for City Hall’s newly upgraded display lighting.  Over a thousand colors are available, and the City can even bathe the dome in red, white and blue.  Plus, only seconds to change the colors, as opposed to the old system which involved placing a colored sleeve over each light.  That was a four hour process.       

Marin Carpool #1 was back in operation this morning.  But only John Cribbs and Jill Hoffman made the trip.  Roy Wonder is back in town, but decided to take the day off.   Marin Carpool #2 also kept its operating streak alive with both Les Andersen and John McKnight in attendance. 

Did you see that big picture of Bert Hill in last week’s bulletin?  The gentleman standing next to Bert is an old friend and is the curator at the Smithsonian.  Bert did see all of Sidney Mobell’s treasured artifacts, but none were traded for Bert’s little bike pin.  Matter of fact, the pin on Bert’s buddy was actually photo shopped into the picture.   

Speaking of Sidney Mobell, today the Queen Mary 2 is tied up in Melbourne, Australia.  Also, for next year’s cruise on the new Queen Elizabeth, Sidney will be bringing his son Grant who will celebrate his fiftieth birthday aboard on February 26th.   Sidney now has seven excuses remaining.

Betty Taisch will soon be a grandmother.  Although her son did tell her, Betty knew for sure when her son posted it on FaceBook.  Also tripped up by the internet; Rich Corriea.  Regular readers of this column will recall a couple of weeks ago Rich related a story of wife Maria’s custom toilet plunger.  Well, Maria Googled GGBC and toilet plunger and this column popped up.  Maria was none too happy with her hubby.  So, I guess either I tone down the column to eliminate any incriminating items, or you all better watch what you say.  In any case, the result will be a much shorter column.           

Owen O’Donnell pointed out that real Irishmen stay home on St. Patrick’s Day.  Or, maybe Owen had to stay home because he had too much homework.  Owen is taking an on line Biology course from MIT and it’s harder than he thought.  

Wayne Veatch didn’t stay home on St. Paddy’s Day.  Wayne drove his restored green MGB in the St. Paddy’s Day parade.  And, Wayne’s ’52 Studebaker was featured in SamTrans’ Instagram of the Week, parked in front of one of SamTrans’ buses.          

Another warning from Arlan Kertz; you now have less than four weeks to file your extension.  

Johnson You returned with two jokes and even inspired a whole bunch of non-PC jokes from a good number of our membership this morning.  Johnson’s first joke was inspired by Bert Hill and involved an old man who passed away.  Upon arrival in heaven, St. Peter told the gentleman that he will get a mode of travel based upon his faithfulness to his wife.  St. Peter gives the old man the keys to a brand new Mercedes, and the old man is quite happy driving around heaven, until he sees his wife riding around on a bicycle.  Johnson’s second joke was an old one, about Samurai Swordsmen and their prowess with their swords.  The punch line featured a neutered fly.  

This prompted Marty Mijalski to tell us a joke about old guys ogling a babysitter.  Followed by Alan Garber who told us a joke about old guys and their conversation about what’s worse; Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.  One old guy says he’d rather have Parkinson’s because it’s better to spill a half a glass of whiskey than to forget where you put the bottle.  Chuck Mills followed up with a riddle; why do brides wear white?  The answer; all home appliances are white. 

So, if you Google “really bad jokes”, up pops this column.      

Upcoming special GGBC events announced by Joel Panzer; our yearly joint meeting with the Lake Merritt and Berkeley Breakfast Clubs will be on Friday, June 16th, hosted by the BBC at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley.  The GGBC Dick Pohli Memorial Bocce Ball Tournament will be held on July 9th at the Marin Bocce Federation, 550 B Street, San Rafael.  This year Joel has arranged for some fabulous prizes.  Our first place team will receive a one week Carnival Cruise.  The runners up well receive a two week Carnival Cruise.       

This morning’s most disappointed member; Tom Jacobs.  Even though Tom was ready with all his appropriate Recology gear, including his official Recology Safety Observation Booklet, not a single Recology truck crossed Tom’s path.  Although, Frank Reed reported that he observed Recology Truck #10232 parked with its wheels curbed and blocked.  And, the crew even smiled and wished him a good morning.  I swear that truck was not planted on Tom’s route from 450 Sutter Street to make us look good.     

As mentioned previously, since Mike Hanlon is still on the binnacle list, Guest Secretary Mike Mustacchi reported there were no birthdays this week.  Mustacchi then thanked his three translators, Mike Hanlon, Alan Garber, Ed Flowers for a job well done during Secretary Wayne Veatch’s absence.  This morning Wayne was able to deliver the minutes from last week’s meeting.  Completely in English.  No offense Wayne, but everything sounds better in Italian. 

In honor of our speaker, Jill Hoffman mentioned that she often has worked with Coast Guard JAGs and found them to be very calm and level headed. Not nearly as excitable as Jill’s fellow Navy JAGs.  Jill thinks it’s because the Coast Guard does its mission every day, not like the other service branches than have some down time between wars/ deployments, etc.  Mike Mattis also recalled he has many fond memories of his service with the Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Just before Admiral Zukunft stepped up to the podium, Mike Myatt headed the Admiral off and presented the Admiral with two commemorative stamps framed by the GGBC’s head philatelist Ed FlowersEd included a rare 1945 stamp that honored the Coast Guard’s service during WWII and the other stamp honored the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor awardee of WWII, Signalman 1st Class Douglas Monro, who died while leading the rescue of a detachment of Marines during the battle of Guadalcanal in September of 1942.                  

Knuckleheads of the Week:  Bert Hill and Wayne Veatch won’t agree, but this week’s winners are the San Francisco MTA and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition for their plan to ban auto parking on Polk Street from McAllister all the way to Union Street so they can add bike lanes.  Now, when my wife and I were first married, we lived on Bonita Street, which is off Polk between Vallejo and Green Streets.  Upper Polk Street was then and still is a neighborhood shopping street with a lot of pedestrian traffic and a lot of older folks that live in the neighborhood that need to use their cars. The Bike Coalition cites Valencia Street as a comparable situation, but Valencia is much wider and still, even with the addition of a bike lane in each direction, has auto parking on both sides of the street.  Hey MTA and Bike Coalition, leave the folks on Polk Street alone.  Why don’t you go out to the Richmond District and see if David Heller will let you put in a couple of bike lanes on outer Geary Boulevard.                  




Quid Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? ("Who Guards the Guardians?")

This month marked two years since the Fukushima nuclear reactor catastrophe.  News updates chronicle the events with confirmations of what we should already have known from the start:  Government Officials cooperated with corporate representatives from top to bottom in minimizing and covering up the magnitude of the disaster, even as the dangers to their own people rapidly escalated.

There is nothing unusual about that. We are increasingly confronted with proof that those we empower to protect us will deceive us, especially in times of peril.  Only later do we hear their justifications of "Greater Interests." We now accept that to the point where we rarely even hold them accountable for their original deceptions.

Soon after the beginning of more than a decade of War in Iraq, nearly everyone realized there never had been the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that we were first told to be our fundamental justification for invasion. Only a few years later, our former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, recanted much of his original testimony about that. He seems to have suggested even he had been deceived!

Over the many years since our military withdrawal from Vietnam, some officials ranging from our former Secretary of Defense on down have reportedly questioned whether North Vietnamese gunboats ever even fired on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 4, 1964.  Very few congressmen expressed any such doubt when quickly joining President Johnson's call for the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution" to ignite that decade of War.  

By the time that our House "Select Committee on Assassinations" concluded there probably had been a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy 15 years earlier, most Americans seemed already to have accepted that.

My point is not to blame our leaders for deciding when to tell us how much truth, but rather that perhaps we should no longer expect much truth from them as the most important turning points in our history are unfolding.  

"Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me TWICE, shame on ME!"