August 7th: John Mathers


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


John Mathers
Our very own GGBCr,John Mathers has distinguished himself as an authority on Bolognese sauce and has offered to be a guest at any of our homes to try our version and seek his considered opinion. John will share with us some stories of his wonderful adventures throughout Italy and the world to seek the truth of his favorite sauce and burnish his credentials in Bolognalogy. Come join us for a fun chat with our pal, John.


President Harvey was a bit perplexed this morning upon his arrival to the podium.  No Fire Truck Bell.  Thankfully, we have retained Past President Hugh Tuck’s little Barbie horn, which President Harvey used effectively to bring this morning’s meeting to order.

We continue to hold our attendance to a respectable level.  This morning we had forty-six members, four guests and the speaker for a total of fifty-one.  Only two less than last week.  Six of our members had legitimate excuses as well.  What’s a legitimate excuse?  One that is requested prior to a meeting, or requested on the same morning of the meeting by another member on your behalf.  Any other excuse is pretty much an illegitimate one.         

Our guests this morning were; Robin Morjikian from NCIRE, hosted by Joel Panzer. Robin accompanied our speaker Gerard Choucroun, and provided Gerard’s introduction.  Bicycle safety instructor Winona Hubbard, was hosted by, who else, Bert Hill, and the San Francisco Boys and Girls Clubs director of maintenance, Jesse Manos   was brought along by the San Francisco Boys and Girls Clubs defacto director of maintenance, Les Andersen.  It was a good morning for Les and Arlan Kertz, as the bananas were out early today.

Our final guest was Alex Mozes, hosted by J. J. Panzer, who even got up this morning and introduced himself as our newest member.  Alex even received the customary new member round of applause.  This all came as quite a shock to Membership Chair Wayne Veatch, who has yet to call for a vote on Alex’s admission to the GGBC.  Even if you turn in your application, satisfy the three meetings requirement, get published twice in the bulletin, pay your initiation fee and dues for the year, you still ain’t a member until Wayne calls for a vote before the Board and the Board votes its approval.  A majority of the Board, which, by the way, is more than two members.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at your copy of the GGBC by-laws.  And this isn’t a slam at Alex, who was innocently following information he had received upon checking in this morning.  I’m sure Alex’s membership will be approved by a majority of the Board next Tuesday and on Wednesday we can indeed all properly welcome Alex as our newest member.          

After Bert introduced Winona as a premiere bike safety instructor, our pedestrian advocate, Robin Brasso, said Winona should make sure her fellow bicyclists stop running red lights.  This prompted Robin’s tablemate, and our part time cab driver, Pat Conley, to tell Robin she should make sure pedestrians stop walking against red lights too.  I’ll take my shots at all of them.  Between the arrogant and entitled bike riders, the arrogant and entitled pedestrians, the cab drivers that think it’s OK to park their little Honda Civic right in the middle of a bus stop forcing a sixty foot Muni articulated bus to stop in a traffic lane to discharge its passengers, the unregulated “pink mustache” illegal cabs that also feel the traffic laws don’t apply to them, I’m amazed that traffic moves in this town at all.  If you complied a ranking of the traffic impediments in San Francisco, Recology wouldn’t even make the top ten.  And, Tom Jacobs didn’t even see a single Recology truck this morning.

Plus Jonathan Stone says as a driver and a pedestrian you must watch out for those little orange/yellow GoCars and ScootCars.  These tiny three wheeled pods invariably are driven by tourists completely and totally unqualified to drive anywhere in San Francisco.  Jonathan even encountered a swarm of them, driven by French tourists, on the Golden Gate Bridge, where these little vehicles, by law, are not allowed.

Only a single excuse requested for this morning; Frank Reed for Eric McGarty.

More excuses requested for the future though; new member Antony Mills is taking the family to Tahoe for two weeks.  Sidney Mobell is going to Las Vegas to visit his money.  Even though Wayne Veatch just got back from putting 2,000 miles on his MGB winding through the Pacific Northwest, next week Wayne is going to Boy Scout camp up in Arnold. 

Members that have returned; Bob Pave after a ten month layoff from the GGBC, Bob reports those dirty bastards fired him.  Maybe Bob should hire one of the many other lawyers in the GGBC law firm and sue the dirty bastards for age discrimination. 

Speaking of lawyers, Alan Garber is back from Cabo.  Garber says the room was great, right on the beach.  Just like the Corona commercial.  Betty Taisch greeted us this morning in Croatian. Betty had a great time touring the Slavic Countries and was on a cruise ship with only fifty passengers total.  Mike Hanlon finally returned as promised.  Mike’s shoulder is at 100 percent and fifteen hundred bucks later, Mike’s car is at 100 percent too.            

Able to see us a lot better this morning, Janet Von DoeppJanet’s eye surgery went well, although as Janet was leaving it looked like an EMT was rushing into the doctor’s office.  Janet was glad that happened after her surgery.    

This morning Rickey Wilson was “down from way up north”.  Rickey also has a new job as the guest commentator for the Sonoma West Times.  How many people read the Sonoma West Times?  More people than read the GGBC Bulletin?     

Bert Hill is impressed with our new Pope.  Bert thought it was great when Pope Francis asked “who am I to judge?”  Jim Lazarus had to tell Bert the Pope was speaking about gay people, not bike riders.  Jim also says be ready for the Chamber’s new tag line and logo.  Grant Hundley couldn’t wait though and went with his old standby, “everything hinges on Hundley”.  

Chuck Mills was impressed with President Harvey’s haircut.   

Steve Shain announced, after a long pause for effect, that he has been a member of the GGBC for thirty-two years.  Prompting J. J. Panzer to say that means Steve joined the GGBC in 1981.  The same year J. J. was born.  J.J.’s word of the day; Backpfeifengesicht (German) A face that cries out for a fist in it.  Again, an appropriate description for many of our members.

Has anyone see Bill Buchanan’s badge, it’s missing.  Frank Reed asked Bill if he checked his jammies?  

Not a single joke again today.  Is the membership afraid they’ll be awarded the rubber chicken, or even “Goldie”, the chicken reserved for only the absolute worst jokes?  Used to be our members took pride in delivering the worst joke.  And, collectively we always took pride in recognizing the worst in our members.  Worst joke, worst tie, worst golfer.  Titles all worn with a badge of honor. 

Though, Marty Mijalski has lamented the reduction in the GGBC’s jokes per meeting, and has done his best to keep our tradition alive, Marty doesn’t want to win either of the chickens by default.  That cheapens the award.  If Marty wins a chicken, he wants to make sure his joke is clearly the worst among many jokes, so he can appreciate the groans and abuse emanating from the membership.

Last week Marty delivered a series of quotes from retired Marine Corps General James “Mad Dog” MattisMarty did select only those quotes appropriate for mixed company that would not cause any offense to be taken by our guests, were suitable for publication in this column and repeating in any venue outside of the GGBC.  Although upon arising to make his self-introduction, Marty was asked by Rickey Wilson to “go ahead and lower the bar”.  Marty elected to relate two stories provided by his oldest daughter, a neurologist in Milwaukee.  The first involved a patient who repeatedly removed his clothes prior to examination by Marty’s daughter.  Since these are neurological exams, Marty’s daughter told the patient “it’s not necessary to remove your clothes”.  The patient replied, “this isn’t a sexual thing, I’m just more comfortable without any clothes, and by the way, for the next exam, can you wear a short skirt?”  The second story involved a group of thirty patients, in wheelchairs, that decided they were tired of their confinement, escaped the hospital and rode in their wheelchairs to the nearest casino. The wheelchair bound patients may have succeeded in pulling off their caper, except before they could return to the hospital, it started to snow.

Coming up in October, Cathy Scharetg will be again running in the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund.  Cathy wants to raise $5K and so far she’s at $2.6K.  A worthy cause and if you’re worried about your donation being well spent go online and visit Charity Navigator.  Semper Fi Fund is the highest rated charity for veterans; over 93 percent of the dollars raised go to the folks that actually need it.

I want to offer some special recognition to Jackson Talbot.  Last Thursday the Building Owners and Managers Association had its monthly membership luncheon.  This luncheon draws about 120 people at the City Club.  The guest speakers were the Chiefs, Greg Suhr and Joanne Hayes White.  The program was set up as a panel discussion, which requires a moderator, and that moderator was Jackson.  The key thing to remember when you’re a moderator is to moderate.  The audience isn’t there to see you, but you have to keep things moving along and make sure your panelists get a fair division of the available time and the proper attention they deserve.  Which is exactly what Jackson did.  Jackson admitted he did Google “Patricia Fripp” to get some pointers.  While preparation is critical, you must also have execution.  So, a big Dick Pohli thumbs up to you Jackson.                   

After his long layoff, Mike Hanlon finally returns, and it’s to a week with not a single birthday.  Not to waste an opportunity to sing the birthday song, Mike recognized two birthdays from last week.  Marty Mijalski for the second time and Jim Simpson, who always avoids coming to breakfast on his birthday so he doesn’t have to subject himself to our singing of the birthday song or to having wear one of the birthday hats.  At least Jim donned one of the hats and did mange to smile through the torture of it all this morning.            

Knucklehead this week:  much like the GGBC’s awarding of Goldie the Chicken, it appears we do not have any winners that can appropriately succeed Anthony Weiner for this week.  All of this week’s knucklehead moves pale by comparison to Anthony’s.  Maybe someone will make a special effort to do something really stupid next week, so I can bestow the title.    





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?