As a matter of habit, I separate the daily Los Angeles Times by section:  Business first, followed by LatExtra, Front page, Calendar then lastly, Sports; Sunday’s added features fit in according to interest of level.  I save the sports page like a dessert, the best for last. Calendar ranks second because of the sudoku and crossword challenges, especially the difficult Friday-Saturday posers. I don’t have much interest in entertainment, movies or television but stay current if only to be relevant. And yes, I read the comic page.

Never was a Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal buff. Following S&P 500 and NASDAQ would’ve been much more enlightening – and maybe profitable – than being concerned about ERAs and TDs. I remember when gold was at 40 bucks. Need I add that backing Japanese American projects showed blind loyalty if not business acumen. Stardust Hotel is also a grim reminder for many of getting nothing for something.

CR2S has a financial advisor. Sounds impressive, but is somewhat misleading.  It’s like saying, “I own a house” (how big and where?), “I have security” (investments or system?), or “I have a trophy wife” (again, how big and where?). I was one of Michael Y’s first clients when he started out as a bright, young, ambitious financial dynamo in San Jose. Today he heads a highly successful investment firm with 80 employees, is a fiscal guru regularly appearing on television, consults and travels the world. It’s nice watching a guy make it big; one of those “I knew him when” moments.

You’d be surprised at what can be learned from reading in-depth stories in the Business Section. Maybe reading that Time Warner lost 306,000 subscribers because of its dispute with CBS is not a stomach-churner; nor is the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of great interest to the masses. CR2S gets an education, whether of value or not, reading about the latest automobile gadgets or mind-boggling Wall Street bonuses. Quite frankly, I get a charge out of JUMBLE, the scrambled word game, and refuse to give up until all are solved. Need I mention daily perusal of the obituary section is a must do. [The other day an outlandish eight JAs were listed out of a total of 22.]

On the first of this month, Kobe Bryant received a payday of $24,363,044 [of little consequence is the additional $6.1 he will receive over the next 11 months.] No, no, no. This will not be a treatise on outlandish sports compensation nor a KB diatribe. I just couldn’t let it slide by without comment. Do you have any idea of how much money that is? In contrast, CR2S’s  rent is going up another 3 percent starting Jan. 1, 2014. No correlation or import, just figured it was a good spot to put Hiroto next to Bryant this one time. And a challenge: I’ll be paying about three bucks more a day; what’s my rent?

Continuing the monetary theme: The regular monthly stag outing with my guys and two pals turned into a repeat visit to Water Grill downtown, I chose to concentrate on imbibing rather than eating, an inherited trait. Like so many popular (and wise) restaurants, WG allows BYOB; but limited to one bottle of wine. It doesn’t even have to be on their vino list. But it makes sense, at least in our situation, because one is seldom enough.

To put on public display how removed CR2S has been from nightlife lately, I had forgotten you can order by a half bottle. So while my comrades busied themselves with dessert, I instructed the waiter to bring me another glass of wine. No, make that two to save a return trip. I erred, big time. A bottle of the stuff I was drinking woulda cost as much as dinner – all five of ’em. The reason you have sons is so they can come to the rescue of a bumbling pater. So a half bottle is ordered instead, saving face as well as a fair amount of cash.

Wine is not cheap, folks. The days of Thunderbird, Ripple and gallon jugs of 99-cent rot gut are so 20th century. And I guess I’ll forever remain the oddball ordering red meat at seafood joints.  And having Grey Goose for dessert.

= * =

A while back I complained about robo-calls following me from former home to Keiro. As always, CR2S reader(s) came to the rescue – and I failed to acknowledge or give an update. Gomen nasai. 1-888-382-1222 is the Do Not Call notification number. But there is a disturbing caveat: Requesting DNC status does not exclude charities, political or marketeers!

Sifting through a stack of notes, yet another unanswered piece of intriguing correspondence pops up: “[M]y question regarding your encounter with the nether world: Since you couldn’t find anything on your camera or on KRH’s tapes, what about the sound effects? Shouldn’t you have been able to capture some sounds from the tapper? Just curious & wanting to know or did I miss something?”

Brilliant question. Never asked before. No, you didn’t miss something. Only my answer: There is no evidence of any sound recorded from the mysterious knocks. In other words, to date I am the only person that has heard the knocks and telephone rings. So until somehow verified, it is CR2S against the world.

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at williamhiroto@att.net Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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