There once was a gentleman of great intellect and character named Herbert Hoover. He graduated from Stanford University. He had an incredible career in the mining industry. He made a fortune and rose to be president of the USA. When the stock market crashed in 1929 and things started to go bad, he made the comment: “Let the market take care of things.” We all know what happened next. We have a man running for president now with the same slogan: “Let the market take care of things.” Need I say more?
I spent 11 years of my life in what I call “The British World.” I include in this Britain,Australia and South Africa. I fell in love with television in all three countries. Great television stations were the BBC (British Broadcasting Commission), SABC (South African Broadcasting Commission, and ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission.
All of these networks or channels had incredible courage. They would always “tell it like it is” even if someone got offended. Their “made for TV” movies were always incredible.
I came to especially love a show called Minder. It premiered on British television in 1979 and lasted on television until 1994. It was a comedy about a boxer who was an ex-convict (Terrence McCann-played by Dennis Waterman) and a con man named Arthur Daley (played by a British actor named George Cole.) Terry and Arthur are a part of the British national character as Archie Bunker is in the US.
I also love a British science fiction show from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s called UFO. It’s about a secret organization battling aliens from other planets. The organization battling the aliens is called SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization). The star of the show is a great US actor named Ed Bishop. The series was 40-50 years ahead of its time. It still has a cult following today.
I was watching the third episode of the series. It centered on a SHADO medical technician who gave the aliens classified information. The actor playing the traitor had a voice that sounded familiar. I was sure that it was George Cole, the actor who went on to play Arthur Daley. But he looked much too young. At the end of the show I read the credits listing the name of the actor. Sure enough, George Cole’s name was there. What a big surprise and coincidence!!!!
It’s Sunday morning and I’m up with a cough. I also had a reaction to the Shingles shot that I took. At least Elena and the dogs are resting nicely. Today we went to Half Moon Bay. We gave the dogs a nice walk in Pilar Point. We then went tot he town and bought a device to cook tortillas and an African face mark for our dining room that is going to be “a little bit of Africa.” I spent 6 years of my life in Africa. Elena has been there. We met because of a picture of Elena taken in Swaziland. I want everyone who comes in the housee to see how much we love Africa.
Shingles is an unpleasant skin disease that can affect older people. On the recommendation of Elena I went yesterday to Kaiser South San Francisco to get a shot to protect me against shingles. At the reception area I met a young lady who was studying for the MCAT examination. (This is the exam that all applicants for medical school must take.) She looked at my Kaiser card and thought that I was a doctor. I explained to her that my wife was a doctor. She asked me for advice. I told her that the three year residency is the worst part of the painful process to become a doctor. I told her how much it hurt me to see Elena literally work a 36 hour workday in ICU . I told her that her partner in life was going to suffer a lot while she went through all the hard steps to become a doctor. I went on to tell her that medicine was a great career not only for the money but also for the satisfaction of being able to help others and save lives. I told her to become a doctor.
There are two fast food restaurants in the USA where I will eat-Five Guys and In And Out Burgers. After my bureaucratic battle at the DMV I had lunch at In and Out Burgers. After eating my heavenly burger, I saw a sketch on the wall. It was of the first In and Out Burger opened in Southern California in October, 1948-the month and the year that I was born. A burger was 30 cents way back then.
I attended a fascinating program last night at the Westin Saint Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Former Secretary of State George Schultz spoke. Also present were two retired ambassadors who used to work for Schultz, a Stanford University history professor, and a retired 4-star admiral who specialized in special operations forces.
This was a group of very bright political conservatives. At the end of the process they said that war with Iran was not inevitable.
They then made two truly surprising revelations as follows:
1) India and Iran are very good friends. (They strongly emphasized that India violates no international sanctions and provides Iran with no help with their nuclear program.) Iran is always helping India to counter Pakistan. Iran has helped India to set up a strong base in Afghanistan. When the US leaves Afghanistan, India will be the dominant foreign power there (much to the horror of the Pakistanis!)
2) Right now Japan has the capability of manufacturing and deploying very advanced nuclear weapons. They choose not to. They love to send a subtle message to China and North Korea that they have the capability to produce and deploy these weapons fast. The learned political conservatives conducting the meeting said this was the same place that Iran wanted to be.
These learned political conservatives emphasized that diplomacy and opening a serious and sincere dialogue with Iran was much better than a military strike that would set back the Iranian nuclear program 4 years but make them more determined to get nuclear weapons.
There is a little hope in the world this morning.
One of the guiding forces in my life is a book by John R. Talbott called Survival Investing. He’s a bright man with a lot of common sense.He warns people to invest in gold and to also invest in things that they know well. He has this commonsense idea that you should invest in your own home or condo. After all you live there. He also advises people to invest in things that they personally know. I have taken his advice to heart nad invested in companies like the CBS television network. I am going t add Whole Foods Markets to my list of great companies that I know well. Yesterday Elena got called to a work-related meeting in Burlingame. I was stuck with the dogs in the car. I drove to Whole Foods Market and had a great breakfast. I was amazed at all of the new food choices that they had added. Whole Foods used to be a market for the upper income people who wanted organic food and the like. Without compromising their excellent quality, they have evolved in to a company offering quality food and services to their customers. I like what I see and will buy shares in the company.
Elena and I had an incredible Saturday. We first went to the Oakland Convention Center for her employer’s annual share holder’s meeting. One speaker had written a great history of cancer. Another speaker as a noted political conservative who talked a lot about the current presidential election and political environment. We learned a lot about the tactical mistakes of Romney and why Obama should be losing like Jimmy Carter in 1980 but is not. The group CEO gave an excellent speech on the tough business environment that TPMG faces. We enjoyed a healthy and excellent breakfast and lunch. We then came home and rested. We went back out and traveled to the San Francisco Giants stadium for a great performance of the opera Rigoleto, It was free of charge and we froze to death in the night air. Johanna Rice at Pacifica Pet Care thanks so much for taking great care of Copernicus and Cassi while we were gone!
Luah needed a bicycle so we gave her the bike that Elena received when she arrived in San Jose 12 years ago (She only rode it once.) It has a nice comfortable seat that women love. I had to spend a good part of the day putting air in the tires, cleaning it up, buying and mounting a new lock, front light and a mirror for the helmet. Now Luah has a safe bike, “The things we do for love!”
16 years ago I arrived on a Greyhound Bus in San Jose. Thus began my 16 year adventure in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has been a really tough ride with a few marvelous high points.