July 31st: Gerard Choucroun, NCIRE


August 7th: John Mather's
August 14th: New Kids with an Old Guy
August 21st: Alfonso Montuori, CA Institute of Integral Studies
August 28th: Tom Smegal, Patent Law


New Partnerships: Building Resources and Research to Advance Veterans Health

There is no doubt that the impacts of combat service on the minds and bodies of military service members are profound, physical, and enduring.  The speaker will discuss the importance of practical and strength-based readjustment tools to assist Veterans as they transition out of military service.  The Veterans Health and Integration Program (VHIP) is a civilian/military partnership that is developing resources and conducting research aimed at preventing the negative consequences of combat in the months and years following combat service.  VHIP is based at NCIRE – The Veterans Health Research Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the San Francisco VA Medical Center.


President Harvey went to the podium a full ten minutes before our customary starting time of 7:30AM to issue his first warning to get your breakfast and get into your seat.  

It actually worked.  Possibly the membership was afraid of the consequences of crossing our speaker, the U. S. Attorney for the Northern California District, Melinda Haag.  Normally, I don’t comment on the speaker’s presentation in this column.  I don’t want to step on the Secretary’s toes, as the minutes from the previous week’s program are the Secretary’s purview.  I was pleasantly surprised as Ms. Haag delivered what I like to call a “sleeper” program.  No, that’s not program that puts us to sleep, it’s a program that far exceeds our expectations from the bulletin blurb.  I was expecting a briefing on what the U. S. Attorney’s office is doing currently.  While Ms. Haag did give us a bit of the current goings on, her presentation focused on the history of the U. S. Attorney’s office here in San Francisco going back to the Gold Rush when California was first admitted to the Union.  Unfortunately, Ms. Haag ran out of time during her description of the famous Broderick/Terry duel.  We should invite her back so she can finish.  Also, Ms. Haag did her homework, going to our website and even reading this column all the way to the end.  Which is more than most of you guys do.  That’s not why I’m giving Ms. Haag a complementary review though.  The program really was quite interesting and well delivered. 

Fortunately, Ms. Haag’s fine presentation was not wasted, as our attendance continues to climb.  After that horrible showing two weeks ago, we had another bump upwards this week.  Forty-nine members, three guests and the speaker for a total of fifty-three.  Only six empty seats.  I will also point out we had ten legitimate excuses for this morning’s meeting as well.  

Our three guests this morning were; Alex Mozes, hosted by J. J. Panzer, Alex Seddio, brought along by Bill Buchanan and Amy Lee, the guest of Don Persky.  The first    Alex has now satisfied the three meetings attendance and two publications in the bulletin requirements for membership.  Membership Chair Wayne Veatch can call for a vote on Alex’s admission to the GGBC upon Wayne’s return from Canada.  The second Alex is a retired IRS Special Agent and is now the principal at AML Specialists, which investigates fraud and money laundering.  I’m not sure what Amy does, as during her introduction I was talking on the phone with Mike Hanlon

Now, if I was talking on the phone with Mike Hanlon that must mean Mike wasn’t here.  That is correct, Mike was home in Santa Rosa as his car suffered a wheel bearing failure and is in the shop awaiting parts.  Mike did assure me though, he will return for sure next Wednesday.  Haven’t we heard that before?         

Other excuses requested for this morning; Reg Young excused Jim Simpson, but Jim does not have early patients to torture.  Today is Jim’s birthday and Jim didn’t want to be here to endure our singing of the birthday song or to wear one of the birthday hats.  Frank Reed excused Jackson Talbot, as the pointy building requires additional security this morning.  Marty Fleisher says Ken Brown is in New York, but Ken didn’t request an excuse.  We’ll give Ken one anyway.  Although duly excused for this morning’s meeting, Patricia Fripp did remind me she is still at the National Speakers Convention in Washington DC for today and one more week.  I guess they have a lot to talk about, after all, they are speakers right?  When Fripp finally leaves DC, she’s headed for Denver, then Vegas and then back here to be Chairperson of the Day on August 21st.  

Excuses requested for the future; Len Stec for two months.  Yes, two months.  Len will be taking a swing through Southeast Asia for six of those weeks, then stopping in Hawaii (Maui and Oahu) for the last two weeks before coming back to San Francisco.  Past President Hugh Tuck is heading to the Lair of the Bear next week.  

Members that requested the not allowed retroactive excuses but since they are new members we’ll cut them some slack; Jerome Stroumza, back from vacation with his family.  Jerome didn’t tell us where they were on vacation though.  Mike Mattis was facing a deadline for a project and couldn’t spare the time to come to breakfast.  Since Mike is the CEO, COO, CFO and everything else for his company, Mike’s excuse is granted.         

Members that have returned; Antonio White is back from Seattle and Victoria BC after visiting his In-Laws. Jack Shea is back from Hawaii with the kids and grandkids.  Jack wants to know why the kids and grandkids never pickup a check?  Walking in to breakfast this morning with a brand new knee, Alan JonesAlan reports he has one more week of work before he retires from the TSA next Wednesday.  Alan also mentioned some sad news in the elevator on the way down to the lobby after breakfast.  Our former member, Ed Gomez, suffered the loss of his wife last week after a long illness.  The GGBC sends our condolences to Ed and his family.  Finally, Todd Lewis reappeared to shouts of “who are you?”  Todd says baseball is over, T-Rex had his last game last night.  For all you golfers, Todd mentioned the NFL Retired Players Charity Golf Tournament is coming up on September 9th.  See Todd for the details.              

You probably noticed there were no photos in last week’s Bulletin.  When questioned, senior photographer Mike Mustacchi said “look, I have people to do that work”.  Sure enough, Janet Von Doepp was taking pictures this morning.  Mustacchi is also looking for an Irish translator and made reference this morning to “my wife”.  Mike, did you get married?  Is there something we don’t know about?  I will also point out that at our Bocce Ball Tournament, Mike twice referred to Honey as Kathy.  Not good to call the new girlfriend/fiancée/wife by her predecessor’s name.     

Still waiting for rain; David Dissmeyer.  

Invoking the memory of Red Starr, this morning Rickey Wilson was “down from up north”. 

Last night’s crime report from Rich Corriea; six robberies of which four were smart phones.  Rich also touched on the crash of Asiana Flight 214 at SFO.  While this was a terrible tragedy, both the SFPD and the SFFD responded superbly to the challenge.  There has been a continuous stream of references to their heroic actions, but Rich says upon arrival at such a scene, the cops and firefighters don’t perform a risk management analysis, they just go in because that’s their job.  And, that’s what you gotta do to get 300 people off a burning jet in less than ninety seconds. 

Taking offense at Rich’s lack of mentioning all serious crime in SF; Bert HillBert had his ten year old scruffy bike gloves stolen right out of his bike bag while his bike was parked.  I didn’t tell Bert I saw some Day-Glo green gloves hanging out of Terry Cowhey’s coat pocket this morning.  Bert also mentioned the latest issue of the SF Weekly has an article about Critical Mass.  Does anyone in the GGBC, besides Bert, read the SF Weekly?           

Jim Lazarus says the Chamber’s new tag line and new logo will be introduced in September.  Grant Hundley says Hundley Hardware is getting a new tag line and new logo in September too.  I hope Grant is just adding a new tag line and not retiring any of the old ones.  Here’s another highly scientific GGBC poll; name your favorite Hundley Hardware tag line.         

Looking for something to do for twenty-three days this coming February?  Well, you can join Sidney Mobell for part of his latest world cruise.  Go to Sydney with Sidney.  Leaving from San Francisco on the Queen Elizabeth February 6th .

On time this morning thanks to Recology; Doug Wilkins.  Our compost truck woke him up.  Only our compost truck wasn’t supposed to be there that early.  Since, that’s Sunset’s territory, Dan Negron will have to check that one out.  Although it’s a good thing Janet Von Doepp wasn’t depending on our compost truck to wake her up yesterday.  We missed her pickup.  But we did take care of Janet’s compost later today.  Hey, unlike the SFPD or the SFFD, if we’re not there on time, nobody dies. 

No Recology safety report from Tom Jacobs today.  Tom was looking at Sysco Food Service trucks this morning and Tom says Sysco stole the logo of the San Francisco Dental Society.  Tom also reported he has been practicing dentistry for thirty-six years.  Wow, thirty-six years and still not getting it right. 

Although, while I was walking up Sutter to the MMC this morning, as I was crossing Mason, Recology truck #10228 took a left off Post onto Mason going the wrong way headed up the hill towards Sutter.  Now, we can operate against the traffic flow prior to 6:00AM to effect collection in the downtown area, and it was about two minutes to 6:00AM, but our driver was only taking a three block shortcut.  Since traffic picks up on Mason once the #8X, #30 and #45 buses start running, I gave the driver the raised arm, tap on the wristwatch and headshake.  He gave me the requisite sheepish look. 

President Harvey guarantees he’ll never get called for jury duty; because he writes “I have breakfast with Terry Cowhey every Wednesday” on the back of his jury summons.

John Mathers announced the publication of his second book.  It’s available on Amazon and has already sold 100 copies.  John bought them all himself.  John must have been talking to Bill Buchanan.   

Today is J. J. Panzer’s second anniversary.  In honor of this auspicious occasion, here’s J.J.’s word of the day; Zechpreller (German) someone who leaves without paying the bill.  We have a lot of Zechprellers in the GGBC.   

Not a single joke today.  But, Marty Mijalski had a series of quotes from retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” MattisMarty did supply me with the full and unabridged version of these quotes and asked that I carefully apply my New York Times standard for publication.  Basically, if you will see an item, word or phrase in the New York Times, you can see the same in this column.  

Here are four quotes, of twelve, that meet the standard:

“I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

“The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”

“There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”

Even though Mike Hanlon was still not here, Reg Young filled in and made sure to announce all the birthdays we missed.  This week’s honorees; Rich Corriea, two Saturdays ago, Wayne Veatch, last Wednesday, even though Wayne got to wear one of the hats the previous week before he left on his trip, Joel Panzer last Friday, Christine Torrington, last Saturday, Jim Simpson, today and Marty Mijalski, this coming Saturday.      

Little Knucklehead this week:  former U. S. Representative and candidate for Mayor of New York City, Anthony Weiner aka Carlos Danger.  Is Anthony short of stature?  Is that why he’s a Little Knucklehead?  Nope, it because Anthony doesn’t think with his big head, he lets his little head call the shots.  And every man knows, when you let the little head do your thinking, you’re bound to get in trouble.




Safeway’s Mission Street store reminded me this week of how Joseph P. Kennedy is said to have foreseen the 1929 Crash.  Legend holds that a poor boy working on the street began relaying purported stock tip insights to him, while shining his shoes.  Obviously, the Market was dangerously inflated when such a shoeshine boy could even think of buying on the margin.

Seeking a pound of our local “Peet’s” Coffee on the shelves of a Mission Street store, I stood surprised to find every rack empty, for all of its brands.  I asked a stockboy (now more politically correctly entitled an “inventory management staff person?”) how they could ALL be sold out simultaneously, without even being reduced for sale?  He casually assured me they were available directly from a cashier.   When I asked why not from the shelves, he seemed surprised to have to explain to me that the entire line had been locked up due to excessively frequent shoplifting! 

We’ve all seen stores lock up their most highly priced and restricted items, like liquor and cigarettes, but individual pounds of local brand coffee?  REALLY?

As I made my purchase (with a cashier’s help), I began wondering who would shoplift “Peet’s” coffee?  Alcoholics, teenagers, and addicts seeking quick cash from resales on the street, just do not seem likely local candidates to me. 

I long ago joined swelling ranks of urban professionals enthusiastically encouraged by hopeful indications and assurances that our nation is making steady progress out of half a decade of “The Great Recession.”  Construction Cranes reach upward throughout “The City.”  Spiking Residential Home Prices are again reported to generate frenzied bidding wars far beyond original listing prices.  My mailbox again fills daily with attractive unsolicited credit offers.  

Could we have reached a point in this so-called “Recovery” where the “progress” is so skewed to certain fortunate groups that “the masses” of majority “middle class” and “lower middle class” citizens are becoming shoplifters of ordinary consumer “necessities”?  Will diapers and milk eventually have to be locked up?  Will the controversial small-store practice of sometimes limiting numbers of teens inside at one time begin spreading to wider ranges of ages and appearances?  Already our Retail Giants’ electronic surveillance and inventory control security systems rival some privacy invasions alleged against the NSA, from Nordstrom and Macy’s down to Target and Wal-Mart.

The 99% argument faded from media attention soon after last year’s election.  Will it come back as the 99+%?  If so, how far can that go within an America we still recognize?  As the President TWICE elected continues his hotly controversial and potentially even more divisive campaign, that is both acclaimed and criticized for at least oratorical focus on rebuilding our majority “Middle Class,” I wonder who is stealing Peet’s coffee from Safeway?