Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 23rd 2015 Theme: Garden Quotes

“Unemployment is capitalism’s way of getting you to plant a garden”. ~~ Orson Scott Card

Welcome to the fourth meeting in June blog. Today, we had 3 guests attend our meeting. 
Pauline was our toastmaster and offered a quote by Joseph Addison:
   “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.
   These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's
   pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.”
The GAT(e) team was: Amritha as Grammarian (Prolific), Alice as the Ah Counter, and Jung as the Timer.                                    
Robert was our first speaker today. He gave a talk from the Advanced Manual, The Entertaining Speaker, Project 3 [Make Them Laugh]. It was entitled Obsolete and was delivered 8:45 minutes.

His talk centered around the obsolete things, institutions, vocations and people that may be part of our collective memories depending on our age.

He first described a dream he had where he was seated on a train facing the back of the train, watching the scenery recede and disappear. This was a metaphor for considering everyday life as history and as a passing parade.

He offered five humorous jokes and stories that once were funny but now obsolete.

His handout had quotes from Anna Jane Grossman’s book entitled Obsolete.

On the second page, it also had trends that influence how items become obsolete in favor of improved replacements. Such trends include:
• Increasing Capacity
• Increasing Strength
• Decreasing Size
• Increasing Speed

He ended his talk by telling about a subsequent dream occurring on the same train and this time choosing to sit on the side bench, so he could see what was coming as well as what was passing. He urged the audience to face forward and backward in their lives as well. 

Jean was his evaluator. Jean appreciated Robert’s dramatic opening picture of his train dream as well as the closing improved train dream. She thought that he told the obsolete jokes well. She recommended that the book display and notes be put on a side table rather than the lectern.

Our second speaker was Chizuko.  She offered her 1st Speech from the Competent Communicator’s Manual (Project #1 – The Ice Breaker). Her speech was called: “My Journey” and was completed within 6 minutes.

Chizuko was born in Japan. In high school, she became an exchange student studying in England. She wanted to learn English and go to America. She realized this is 1994, when she arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, followed shortly by moving to Boulder, Colorado. By then, she was married and had a 3 year old son and baby daughter. She soon relocated to Japan again only to return to the Pacific Northwest last year.

She prefers the Seattle area as a place of diversity and since joining our club, she has blossomed beyond shopping and the school activities of her children.

Chizuko was voted best speaker (tied with Anisha).

Naser was her evaluator. Naser felt that Chizuko was very humble in telling about her world travels here, England and Japan. He was glad she chose to be a member of our Toastmaster club. He was reminded of the book/film “Memoirs of a Geisha” where he linked the courageous accomplishments of the character with that of Chizuko. He suggested that she reduce the details of the cities she has lived in and increase the more interesting situations that she found herself experiencing.

Naser was voted best evaluator.

Our third speaker was Anisha.  She gave her 2nd Speech from the Competent Communicator’s Manual (Project #2 – Organize Your Speech). Her speech was called: “Down Time” and was completed within 7 minutes.

Anisha explained that Down Time is more important than ever in our increasingly busy lives. It allows you to look beyond the details of your personal or work life and get the bigger picture. It allows you to connect with and listen to your subconscious mind. It allows you to weed out non-essential activities that do not further your life goals.

She suggested letting Down Time into your life by spending time outdoors and appreciating nature. Down Time can be inserted by scheduling such intervals in your maximized calendar of activities. During these intervals, eat and/or drink outdoors, such as at picnics; engage all of your senses. Stay present and savor each moment.

Anisha was voted best speaker (tied with Chizuko).

Jim was her evaluator. Jim complimented Anisha about her soft smile, which she uses quite effectively to underscore her words. He recommended that her low, soft voice could be replaced by a louder, more confident tone. At the end, he was pleased that she offered the “how” of Down Time: two ways to engage all the senses by staying present and savoring the moment.

Sep, a new member, was the Table Topics Master for today. Her theme was board games. She asked for a volunteer to choose a paper that had a board game name and talk about themselves in relation to that game.

Nicki picked the game Monopoly and told how she and her sisters played a never ending game, where she always went bankrupt.  

Nicki was voted best table topics speaker.  

Anisha picked the game Trouble and mentioned problems with teachers while in the 3rd grade. This involved inviting a friend to her birthday party in a very innocently forceful way. The friend went to the party, but complained to the teacher and principal about her fear of being killed if she didn’t come to the party. 

Our guest Rance picked the game Chess and explained that he had never played it or learned it but had friends who did.

Sue was our humorist for today. She asked that we not tell her sister about Sue divulging an embarrassing episode.

The story occurred near Medford, Oregon. Her sister decided to avoid highway traffic and take a back road to her destination. A farmer is moving his herd across this road. A bull, part of the herd, takes great dislike to her sister’s Ford Pinto automobile and charges it, and went up and over. 

The Farmer, holding the bull down, needed the car to move from his leg. Ultimately an accident report was written and the Farmer paid for the car’s damages. This is a cautionary tale. You may be safer on heavily trafficked, more predictable highways.

Attendees were:  Jean, Jim, Naser, Sue, Robert, Barb, Pauline, Amritha, Anisha, Chizuko, Alice, Nicki, Sepidah, Jung as well as 3 guests: Andrew H., Rance, and Kyle.

Our active membership total remains at 26.

~~~~~ Respectfully Submitted by Robert, the Secretary
[A comment means to me that you read some part of this] ~~~~~


  1. I felt like I was going down a recent memory road. It felt good because the sun was out and each member shone. Thanks for this terrific account Robert.

    Kudos to you as you've come to the end of your role as Secretary. Your shoes are big and will be hard to fill. Thanks for being so generous, clever, and creative.