VOL 20, NO 29, FEBRUARY 5, 2008


"Acoustic Vision for Underwater Robots," Lee Thompson, CEO BlueView Technologies

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubAt 8:00 AM, Jim Gordon introduced today’s speaker, Mr. Lee Thompson. Lee is the CEO of BlueView Technologies with headquarters here in Seattle. Lee has been actively involved in 2-Dimensional (2D) and 3-Dimensional (3D) sonar for over 15 years. Lee has held research positions in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, at research organizations in Florida, Austin, Texas and the University of Washington (GO HUSKIES!).

BlueView Technologies provides affordable state-of-the-art compact sonar solutions for Surface Vessel, ROV, UUV, and diver applications.

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Opening Bell, Invocation & Pledge

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubJim Zidar was our Guest President, as our dear Phil Salvatori is recovering from rotator cuff surgery. Thanks, Jim, for taking care of us today!

Jim Zidar reported that the Board sent Phil a get well card. Jim teased that the card said “By a vote of 4 to 3, the Board has decided to wish you a get well!” (Actually, it was unanimous ... get well, President Phil!)

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubPlease feel free to send get well cards and emails to Phil.

The Invocation and Pledge was by our Red Badger Susan Amini, who read us the Prayer of St. Francis, a prayer that Mother Theresa said daily:

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Bob Crosby, another one of our Red Badgers, introduced visiting Rotarians and Guests. Unfortunately, Bob was sent to remedial training to get more practice on saying, “You are ALL always welcome at the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club!”

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Indonesia Field Trop Report from Jenny & Chris

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubJenny Andrews and Chris Monger are back from Indonesia! Jenny gave a quick summary of their trip to Indonesia with a group of Oregon Rotarians. Jenny said that the group selected about 15 potential projects to review.

Chris said they went to 10 Rotary functions, visited 30–35 clubs, and reviewed about 85 projects from Banda Aceh to Bali. The Rotarians are incredibly committed! Karaoke is not dead! It is alive and living in Indonesia!!

Chris said that Jenny — the President Elect — really carried the Rotary banner. She was incredible! Jenny said that seeing Chris Monger in a skirt was something quite extraordinary.

Jim reminded everyone that “what happens in Banda Aceh, stays in Banda Aceh!”

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DECA Event Judging — Intro By Tim Leahy

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubTim Leahy introduced Ms. Shanna LaMar, Executive Director, of the Washington DECA. On March 7, Rotarians are invited to help judge role play and presentations given by the competing DECA students.

During the role play and presentation competition, over 600 business volunteers judge the students in multiple areas. Judges will evaluate students on their presentation of solutions to real-world business situations covering a variety of industries. This half- to full-day commitment will allow you, the judge, to experience some of the brightest teen minds and their understanding of business. Each judge will be partnered with another judge to evaluate each role play. The top students will move on to competition at the international level.

Shanna asked the club to consider giving a half-day or full-day of your time as a judge to make a difference in the life of a teen. “It could be a life-changing experience for both of you!” she said.

For more details, go to and look for the information for March 7th, between 7:00AM and 5:30PM.

Shanna thanked us for inviting her to join us and also for the funds we provided for scholarships.

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Badges — the New Ones!

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubMme. Sayoko (aka “Special K” or “Spider Monkey”) and John DeWater took some time to talk about the new badges we are now wearing.

A few key points Sayoko mentioned were:

Next week, BBRC Lanyards will be available near the Badge Box. DON’T WRAP THE LANYARD AROUND YOUR BADGE AND PLACE IT IN THE BOX! If you do, you’ll be attacked by the vicious Spider Monkey because she cannot scan the bar code on the back of you.

Sayoko said you can keep the lanyard if you want or simply return it after the meeting. Just remember to NOT WRAP THE LANYARD AROUND YOUR BADGE WHEN YOU PLACE THE BADGE BACK IN THE BOX!

Sayoko and John DeWater made an attempt at a little skit regarding Vanity Badges. Some pictures were displayed showing some vanity badges, including a motorcycle for Steve Lingenlawyer, a diamond for Sergeant Harrelson, and Peter Powell’s monster catamaran.

The requirements for these Vanity Badges are:

  • ≥ $100 donation to the BBRC Foundation

  • “Voluntary” Handling Fee to cover Sayoko’s time to fit your photo on the badge (this can include a complete, 7 course dinner at Ruth Chris’ Steak House, a large diamond like Tom Harrelson gave Sayoko for his badge (NOT!), a sushi lunch or a cup of coffee at Starbucks)

  • JPEG file of your favorite photo to Sayoko for placement on the badge

John DeWater also talked about the BBRC endowment and its history. He even showed some rather “interesting” badges for Mary Bell, John Mix, Shelley Noble (smoking a cigar — ugh!), Otis Spleemeyer, Jenny Andrews in a Belly Dancing Costume, and even Nick Nolte’s infamous arrest photo — you know the one, it kinda looks like Chris Monger!

As Sayoko and John started to sign off, they reminded everyone that any complaints or compliments go to John Martinka! It’s all his fault!

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Rotary Walks! Announcements

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubJonathan Koshar talked about the walkathon. He invited the Sponsor Committee members — Jane Kuechle, Jenny Andrews and Margie Burnett — to come up for some recognition. He also wanted to show appreciation to the sponsors. First across the line was Frank Buty, followed closely behind by Steve Goldfarb, Steve Ludlow, Steve Lingenbrink, Peter Powell, Allen Pratt, Overlake Hospital, and the Microsoft contingency (Ercan Turkarslan, Bill Spencer, Morris Kremen, Steve Szirmai, and Andrew Face).

John also announced that Brooks Running has donated 1000 “technical T shirts” which retail for $24 each. Not only have they made the donation for this year but committed to do it for 3 years! So, the equivalent value is around $72K! What an awesome donation to the BBRC. These shirts will be very popular.

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Mark Hough Reports from Afghanistan
Photos courtesy of Blair Kauffman, Librarian, Yale Law School (view more of Blair Kauffman's Afghanistan photos here)

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubI have been quite remiss in reporting in to the BBRC. So here is my January report.

I landed in Kabul on a Friday, which is the weekend here in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Work goes on six days a week. The flight from Dubai over Iran and most of Afghanistan was full with contractors and hangers on like me returning from the holidays. Iran and Afghanistan are quite mountainous and the mountains were spectacular, fully covered in snow with knife edged ridges and almost no trees in sight. Flying in you see what made the plateau that Kabul sits on. Years of erosion to the west have created a broad brown mostly flat plain. Kabul sits on it at an elevation of about 6000 feet. The climate is arid so it is much like the high valleys of Arizona and New Mexico. Since the air is thin, when the skies are clear it can be cold but in the sun pretty comfortable during the day; but as the troops here say, ABC or Ass Biting Cold at night. This has been a cold January. For most of the month temps have ranged between -10 and 20 degrees. There have been a few days of snow when the temperature hovered around freezing.

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubThe city is bounded on the north by the westerly reaches of the Hindu Kush range and they are spectacular from the city. There are snow covered mountains to the south as well. The effect, since the ranges are close, is something like Denver's view to the west.

I was hired on a three month contract to be a Provincial Legal Advisor in a program called Afghanistan Rule of Law Project, or ARoLP. It is child of USAID. I was to be embedded on the campus of the Provincial University in Jalalabad, a city about three hours' drive east of Kabul, close to the Pakistani border. I was to be an advisor to the schools of law and Sharia, or Islamic law, on the campus. I was to teach a couple of classes in English. One of the goals of ARoLP is to send law and Sharia faculty members to programs in the US and other places so they can see how law is taught in the rest of the world. In fact, Husky Bob, the UDub Law School has been hosting visiting professors from Afghanistan for a couple of years. But for the professors to get anything useful from a trip abroad they have to have a pretty good grasp of English and legal English at that. So a lot of the emphasis is on teaching them legal English in country. I was also to help them develop core course outlines or syllabias are common in US universities.

And my first job the day after Islanded in country was to attend and participate in a first ever three day conference in Kabul of faculties of law and Sharia from the seven universities in the country. The purpose of the meeting was to get agreement on a core curriculum of classes that every graduate of a law or Sharia school should have. There is no bar exam now and not any private law practice to speak of. Buta bar exam is coming one of these days. I will explain maybe in the next installment that the legal system in Afghanistan after 30 years of isolation and war is not much to behold.

The conference was an experience for me. There were about 100 people in attendance, all but two of whom were males. Mostly they were senior faculty members, deans and chancellors with a couple of judges and a couple of ministry of higher education types thrown in. The conference of course was conducted in Dari, one of the official languages of the country and quite close to Farsi, the language of Iran. I knew no Dari and the few translators that were providing help to the main ARoLP people there did not help me much. The Afghanis love to talk and by my estimate, it takes about four or five words of Dari to equal one word of English. So the debates and discussions were animated and sometimes seemingly contentious but all seemed to enjoy the process and in the end they agreed on eleven core courses that should be taught uniformly throughout the country to all law and Sharia students.

Afghanistan is not a homogeneous country. There are at least sixteen separate ethnic groups and looks vary greatly from European looking to Arabic looking to Indian looking to Oriental looking Skin hues vary from white to dark brown. Since the area has been a crossroads of trade for centuries there are many variations and the 100 or so people at the Conference were a microcosm of the country. Most men have beards or facial hair and it varies greatly in style .I was fascinated with their faces. Dress varies also. Some were dressed in suits and others in traditional clothes, the long flowing shirts that reach the knees with loose fitting pants under them and traditional jackets over the shirts. Hats run the range from nothing to the flat wool pakools to mulim round white hats to knit ski hats to turbans. The two young women professors were dressed rather casually but had head scarves on at all times. So here was I set down in a totally alien setting but fascinated by it all.

Cell phone etiquette as we know it does not exist. Phones were constantly going off and being answered in the middle of conversations. I got intrigued by the ringtones too. Lots of middle eastern type tunes but others as well. Since then in one meeting a distinguished older professor dressed in his traditional clothing answered to the tune of Mission Impossible. And at a meeting this week at the Supreme Court, the justice with whom we were visiting answered to Can Can. It is a jarring experience to hear these things!

I had met three of the professors from Nangarhar, where I was to head after the conference. They, vassalage, were exceptionally courteous. People greet each other warmly, whether stranger or not, with shaking of hands for everyone and hugs and kisses on the cheek for those who know each other better. Always profuse praise tarlatan broad smiles. It is a wonderful custom.

But on the second day my boss told me that the Nangarhar guys were backing out of my deal. They gave many reasons including fear for themselves and their families in having me there. Who knows what the real reasons were but suddenly I was out of a job. Flexibility is a great asset here. So I have been and will be working in Kabul and I do like that. We have taken one trip to Jalalabad and will take others. I live in a walled, gated and guarded guest house for the program. There are about 15 people living here, some going and coming all the time. I have my own room and bath. City power is iffy and shuts down every evening so we have two diesel generators that go all the time. We have a good cook and eat communally. It is kind of like some reality show. But the people are cordial and quite interesting. The project has a separate compound for its offices about a 10 minute drive away.

Security is always an issue. We go everywhere in SUVs and do no unnecessary travel and very limited nighttime activity. Two weeks ago there was an ugly attack on a health club frequented by westerners in the best hotel in town. At least eight people died. It was a Taliban attack and they have promised more attacks on restaurants and other spots frequented by westerners. So life is a balancing act.We try to take reasonable precautions but still have freedom to get out and about which gives me a great opportunity to see the city, even if from inside an SUV. Embassy people and many of the other organizations have been in lockdown since the attack.

More later and I have yet to find the Kabul Rotary but I think there is one.

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"Acoustic Vision for Underwater Robots," Lee Thompson, CEO BlueView Technologies

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubAt 8:00 AM, Jim Gordon introduced today’s speaker, Mr. Lee Thompson. Lee is the CEO of BlueView Technologies with headquarters here in Seattle. Lee has been actively involved in 2-Dimensional (2D) and 3-Dimensional (3D) sonar for over 15 years. Lee has held research positions in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, at research organizations in Florida, Austin, Texas and the University of Washington (GO HUSKIES!).

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubBlueView Technologies provides affordable state-of-the-art compact sonar solutions for Surface Vessel, ROV, UUV, and diver applications.

Using cutting-edge multi-beam imaging sonar technology, the ProViewer line of products delivers a quantum leap in performance over conventional sonar systems. BlueView's High definition real-time streaming imagery dramatically increases safety, efficiency and mission success during hull and pier inspection, harbor surveillance, sea bottom search, offshore inspection, fisheries management, and other commercial and recreational applications.

BlueView’s key markets are defense, homeland security, oil and commercial underwater support. BlueView holds an exclusive license with the University of Washington for the technology. Systems are installed at 20+ different US ports for security.

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubLee talked to us about why acoustic underwater vision? Essentially the key reasons are a) sonar is not affected by water clarity – it can “see” at a longer range than a camera; and b) you get better performance for the money than for the costs of using a camera.

They have implemented their systems on fixed platforms and mobile platforms such as underwater robots. They’ve even deployed hand-held systems carried by divers. The systems have even been installed in streams to count salmon – and the power requirements are so low that they are using a solar panel to provide the electricity to this sensor.

Lee showed some very interesting videos of the system showing 2D and 3D pictures He showed some movies of how the system can look for “things” (aka bombs) on the side of ships, the bottom of Tampa Bay, etc. These systems can be used to find Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

One robot using their system crawls and swims and mimics a sea turtle.

Bellevue Breakfast Rotary ClubLee noted that their view of the market opportunity is impressive. For instance the total market they are accessing is around $920M; however, the estimated market potential overall is $5B - $6B.

Lee also showed us some information on their work in the offshore oil and gas industry where the BlueView systems have been used to repair downed offshore oil rigs sunk by Hurricane Rita.

Lee said that their future involves making devices that can work at 10,000 feet deep and with higher 3D resolution.

During the Q&A, Lee told of a story at the Port of Bridgeport, Connecticut where the system was being tested by the Bridgeport Police and they found some body parts and a pair of pants at the bottom of their bay using the BlueView system.

At the end of Lee’s presentation, Jim Zidar thanked Lee and presented the 750 pounds of food “gift card” for Northwest Harvest.

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Web Fun
Browing Old Cemeteries
Courtesy of Chuck Barnes, by way of Wally Mahoney

In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist,
all dressed up and no place to go.

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102.
Only The Good Die Young.

In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
but died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767

In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery:
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.

Clark Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast ...
Pardon me for not rising.

In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
Here lays The Kid.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.

A lawyer's epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange. Here lies an honest lawyer, And that is Strange.

John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June,
Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.

Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont:
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.

In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.

To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I'll not consent ...
Until I know which way you went

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"Internet Security — It's Not Only for Kids!" Internet safety expert and author Linda Criddle has her own consulting company LOOKBOTHWAYS Online Safety Consulting LLC. Before establishing her company, Criddle spent 13 years at Microsoft where she was a pioneer in online safety. Criddle brought to that role a deep understanding of predatory behavior, methods, and mindsets, a field of interest she has pursued for more than 25 years. The depth and breadth of Linda’s online safety expertise and her ability to create practical technical and policy-based solutions is reflected in the filing of numerous patents on behalf of Microsoft in the areas of emerging technologies and online safety. The news reports daily about internet crimes, yet criminal acts are an end result — committed when an environment creates opportunity for abuse. Learn the root causes of online risk, how these effect you, your family and your businesses. Understand the principles of online safety and how you can apply these to mitigate risks. (Hayden)


“I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours.” ~ John F. Kennedy



Earl Falk, 01/30
Jan Nestler, 02/2
Doug Cameron, 02/6
Mitch Freedman, 02/7
Bob Vallat, 02/13
Bill Brooks, 02/14
Ruben Ladlad, 02/15
Alan Bohling, 02/16
Jim Zidar, 02/23
Ron Black, 02/25


Mix John, 22 yrs
Phil Salvatori, 18 yrs
Steve Peters, 15 yrs
Tom Smith, 11 yrs
Bill Spencer, 11 yrs
Alan Pratt, 10 yrs
Cyril Faulkner, 5 yrs
Fred Barkman, 4 yrs
Elena Howell, 2 yrs
Tim Johnstone, 1 yrs


Jane Kuechle

Jane Kuechle came up to the front to tell us more about the Valentine’s Day Dine Around scheduled for Saturday, February 9th.

Jane noted that 30 Rotarians have signed up and her plea for hosts appears to be solved! However, there continues to remain a need for HOSTS! So, Jane said to let her know if you can HOST! She also said that if anyone else wants to join the party even as a guest to let her know ASAP (Ph 425-274-4030).

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Jane Kuechle

Jim Zidar had the honor to present the January Rotarian of the Month to Howard Johnson, especially for his leadership for the club’s participation in Northwest Harvest. Way to go, Howard! Well deserved!

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This Week's Editor

This Week's Photographer

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Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club