Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club Reveille Newsletter

VOL 21, NO 24, JANUARY 13, 2009


"Take a Trip on the Music Mobile!" Rotary Foundation Scholar and music education innovator Dr. Irene Bowling and her husband, Bill Pontius, will roll  the Music Mobile to the BBRC  on January 16. Dr. Bowling has developed a unique piano education program, "On Wheels,"  for students of all ages and abilities. Irene and Bill will discuss their pioneering company, SeattleSoundFX, and describe what it can do for our community. To find out more about the project, click here. [O'Brien]


“Far away in the stars are our highest inspirations. We may not reach them, but we can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and then try to follow where they lead.” – Louisa May Alcott, Author

“Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the idea is really quite staggering.” – Arthur C. Clarke, British Science Fiction writer, inventor, and futurist.

Click here to view a slideshow of photos from this week's meeting.


Tamara Dean

Colleen Turner

President Jenny Andrews (Lowry) opened the first meeting of the New Year in Building 99 on the Microsoft Campus.

The invocation and pledge was led by Greeter Colleen Turner, “A new year is unfolding — like a blossom, with petals curled tightly, concealing the beauty within. Lord, let this year be filled with the things that are truly good — with the comfort warmth in our relationships, with the strength to help those who need our help and the humility and openness to accept help from others. As we make our resolutions for the year ahead, let us go forward with great hope that all things can be possible — with Your help and guidance.”

Greeter Tamara Dean introduced visiting Rotarians and guests. Among the guests was Howard Johnson’s son, Jeff Johnson, who is the Academic Lead for North America with Microsoft’s IT Academy.

President Jenny thanked Steve Szirmai, Lorenzo Hines, and Microsoft for hosting this first off-site meeting of 2009.

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Jane Kuechle is welcomed by Microsoft workers cum BBRC members Steve Szirmai, Morris Kremen & Ercan Turkarslan.

Past President Bob McKorkle Resigns

Bob McKorkle has tendered his resignation from the club effective January 1, 2009. Bob is resigning because he is very busy with his mortgage business, now that rates are very low again, and he is also traveling a lot and wants the freedom to be able to take off on a trip and not worry about make-ups!

President Jenny said, "Bob has been a member of the BBRC for 18-1/2 years. He was the BBRC president when I joined the club. It's hard to imagine the BBRC without him and we will miss his great spirit and his ready smile."

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Howard Johnson

RFH Work Parties in the New Year

The first Rotary First Harvest Work Party for 2009 was held last Saturday, January 10th. There are many more opportunities over the coming months to help sort food for the hungry. The next two work parties are scheduled at the Food Lifeline Warehouse in Seattle on January 24th and at Northwest Harvest in Kent on February 14th.

SAA Review

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SAA David Bolson

Sergeant at Arms David Bolson gave a Mid-Year Review for the 2008-09 Rotary Year. David noted that he and the SAA Committee are actively involved in “building angst and implementing many 'Best Practices.'” He noted that these practices include six sigma:

  1. BBRC Greeters now show up in coat and tie;
  2. Speakers are introduced by professional looking BBRC members;
  3. The number of scooters has declined since the higher $5 fee was imposed;
  4. Meetings will not be interrupted by members arriving late or going through the buffet line (Even Steve Waltar is getting to meetings on time!)
  5. Wearing Rotary pins and Insignia at our meetings is now universal (David notes that there have not been any fines since he took office.)
  6. We have raised lots of money ($1,322.00 to date). Fundraisers have been exciting, with the top three being: Chip Erickson’s singing; the East German Volleyball Team; and “To Tell the Truth” with Sheriff Rahr.

Areas for improvement include:

  1. Invocations: Invocations have exceeded the 2-minute limit, especially Bob Bowen’s. Reminder: you may share a thought or a prayer, but not both!
  2. Our tag line: “You are all always welcome at the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club” has been stumbled over, butchered, and at times forgotten. A New fine of $5.00 will be imposed for anything less than perfection.
  3. Disrespect for the SAA will not be tolerated. No more hissing and booing. A standing ovation would be nice; polite clapping is okay.

Sale Supports Tree House

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Jonathan Koshar

President Jenny and Jonathan Koshar invited members to participate in an impromptu WAT T-shirt sale to support Tree House. Thanks to member donations, the BBRC will be writing a check for $400 to Tree House! In addition, after the meeting, Lynne Gauthier delivered the remaining 2008 WAT shirts to Tree House. The donations will be used to support the purchase of clothing and school supplies for the children.

Fellowship Committee Innovates for 2009

Fellowship Chair and Past President Steve Lingenbrink, told members about two BBRC Fellowship programs planned to assist our members in revitalizing soured relationships caused by the 2008 Financial Crisis: the 2009 New Year Soured Relationship Stimulation

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Steve Lingenbrink & Dick Brown

Package SRBOP (pronounced “Sir BOP”) includes a Spousal Relations Bail Out Program and the SRSP (pronounced “Sir SEP”) for non-married couples. Both of these economic contributions by the Club to BBRC Fellowship events are designed to bail out out derelict gift giving spouses and stimulate relationships through Rotary Fellowship.

Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams
The first event in the package that you and your guest are invited to is an elegant Champagne Wishes and Caviar Tasting on Saturday, January 17th, at 6:00 p.m., at the new home of Paul and Shannon Chapman.  The tasting will be conducted by Thomas Cottrell (Bellevue Club’s contributing wine columnist and the owner of La Cantina Wine Merchants). The cost is $25.00 per person, and the attire is semi-formal black tie (optional).

This “night on the town” will be a great relationship builder. It is significantly underwritten by the BBRC under both the SRBOP and SRSP Programs. Get on line NOW and sign up!

Valentine Dine-Around
Dick Brown talked about the second Fellowship Event of 2009, the annual Valentine’s Day Dine-Around, which will be held this year on Saturday, February 14th. Bob Moloney introduced this event to the BBRC 13 years ago and ever since, it has grown in popularity and is very well attended.

A sign-up will soon be posted on the BBRC website, and Dick is accepting volunteers to host a dinner in their homes. Six to eight guests will attend each dinner, and the host family will provide the main dish, one side dish and "spirits." The guests will be asked to provide wine and salad, or side dish or appetizer. Dick will arrange the dinners and notify the host families, who will invite their guests a few days prior to Valentine's Day. Until that time, the guests have no idea where and with whom they will be spending the evening.

Rotary Foundation Theme, “Every Rotarian Every Year!”

Cary Kopczynski, BBRC’s RI Foundation Committee Chair, says “THANKS!” to all those members who contributed to our fundraising drive, "and that’s most of you!” Cary adds. “We appreciate it, and you can rest assured that your money will be put to good use in one or more of Rotary International’s many projects. Some of you, however — and you know who you are — have not responded.  Please do so.  Consistent with Rotary International’s goal of “Every Rotarian Every Year,” we are asking that each member contribute a minimum of $100 for this Rotary year (07/01/08 through 06/30/09).  Please consider giving more, however, since we’re shooting for an average of $300 per member. 

For information about the Rotary Foundation, click here.  Learn more about the better world Rotary is helping to create!

SOMEBODY Got Some Golf in Over the Holidays

Note from Mark Hough, currently in Kabul, Afghanistan, to Norm Johnson

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This is what prevented Golfing with the Elves 2008.

I don't suppose you golfed with the elves this year. I doubt that you could have found the course! But here was my Christmas Golfing adventure.

Went golfing yesterday (Boxing Day) at the Kabul Golf Club. It is a 9-hole course with a couple of holes over 500 yards. Not exactly Bandon Dunes. There was not a blade of grass on the course. The green is coarse, oiled sand. Greens fees were reasonable at $35. The caddies carry a round astro turf pad, which you can see in the picture, for your fairway shots. This was my third round of golf since college. I think I broke 100. After the first hole I stopped counting. But it was good fun to get out and walk about.

Click here to view a slideshow of all the photos from this week's issue of Reveille.
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The course is just dirt, with all sorts of holes and ditches and retaining mounds to prevent erosion. It sits at the base of the Lake Kargh Dam and was heavily mined by the Russians and then the internal combatants to protect the approaches to the Dam. So there are lots of holes where mines were either blown or removed.

The road to the Dam runs through the course, and we were treated to all sorts of passersby. A couple of armored SUVs, probably from the US Embassy, were escorted by three up-armored Humvees, probably on their way to the lake for a picnic; and we were escorted around part of the course by a policeman with an AK 47. Later, a Pashto drummer with two companions walked up the road drumming. They stopped at the little police checkpoint at the entrance to the course, and a couple of the policemen danced for a while. The proprietor, Abdul, told us as we were lounging at the 19th hole — a couple of beat up couches outside the office — that he paid the drummer $5 to go by the course and drum for the entertainment of his guests (we were the only people on the course). Oh, yes, there were a couple of graves along the course too. The Muslims here tend to bury people wherever they take a fancy to a spot.

Was a great day in the  high 60s and clear. But, winter will be here soon!

Today’s Program

"World Wide Telescope," Curtis Wong, Microsoft

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Curtis Wong

Robin Callan introduced the program on the World Wide Telescope, which was held in one of Microsoft’s high definition auditoriums, allowing a spectacular demonstration of this powerful and awesome application. 

The speaker, Curtis Wong, Project Director and Principle Researcher, gave BBRC members an inside look into the WorldWide Telescope (WWT) project, the rich web applications of this virtual telescope, and a guided tour of the Universe.  Wong used the WWT to help us see what we have been looking at for years. He used the telescope to bring in many of the stars and constellations in the universe, the Milky Way Galaxy, Palomar images that look like UFOs to our view. He followed the Mars Rover on the surface of Mars, and he brought many hidden images in the sky and universe to our eyes and minds.

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Robin Callan makes the introduction

During his presentation, Wong used the WorldWide Telescope to pan and zoom around the night sky, planets, and image environments to show us how stars are formed and galaxies interact. During his presentation we viewed the universe from multiple wavelengths, as we asked where does all this come from? One of the most beautiful and interesting tours Wong took us on was the Hydrogen Alpha view that displayed the distribution and illumination of massive primordial hydrogen cloud structures that were lit up by the high-energy radiation coming from nearby stars in the Milky Way.

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Curtis Wong & President Jenny Andrews

A humbling highlight of the presentation was a guided tour created by a six year-old named Benjamin.

The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe. It is an application that runs in Windows and utilizes images and data stored on remote servers, enabling you to explore some of the highest resolution imagery of the universe available in multiple wavelengths. It enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world. WWT offers narrated guided tours from astronomers and educators featuring interesting places in the sky.

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Curtis Wong talks with BBRC exchange student Cristóbal Baladrón.

WWT’s astronomers and educators are from some of the most famous observatories and planetariums in the country, including Harvard Astronomer Alyssa Goodman on a journey showing how dust in the Milky Way Galaxy condenses into stars and planets and University of Chicago Cosmologist Mike Gladders, who will take you two billion years into the past to see a gravitational lens bending the light from galaxies allowing you to see billions more years into the past.

If you want to learn more about the WorldWide Telescope, click here:

Web Fun

Courtesy of Wally Mahoney

A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading. 

After a few minutes, the man turned to the priest and asked, "Say, Father, what causes arthritis?" 

The priest replied, "My Son, it's caused by loose living,being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath." 

The drunk muttered in response, "Well, I'll be doggone," and returned to his paper. 

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. "I'm very sorry.  I didn't mean to come on so strong.  How long have you had the arthritis?" 

The drunk answered, "I don't have it, Father.  I was just reading here that the Pope does." 

MORAL: Make sure you understand the question before offering the answers to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace.