Saturday, July 31, 2010



If you grew up watching television on Saturday mornings in the 70s and early 80s, you likely recall that the networks did their best to sneak in a little educational material in between the weekly doses of Super Friends and Scooby Doo. Over on ABC, they chose to teach us about grammar and government, thanks to the ever-popular Schoolhouse Rock. But if you happened to tune into CBS, then you likely remember the name Christopher Glenn (pictured to the left), who kept kids informed of current news events, thanks to a little segment called In the News. Running from 1971 until 1986, In the News enjoyed a respectable fifteen-year run and made us all a little smarter along the way. 

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Touch N Go - first flyball team to ever run un...Image via Wikipedia
Any old mutt can run around. Being a teammate is tougher, though. Flyball seeks to build this sort of fellowship. It’s a relay for teams of four pooches to test their speed and catching abilities. Teams of four dogs are lined up at a start line, and when the first dog is released, he dashes down the 51-foot course, clearing four hurdles along the way, and hits a spring-loaded “flyball box.” The box shoots a tennis ball into the air. The dog jumps up and catches the ball, then runs back down the course to the starting line, where the next pooch takes off. The first team to get all four members through the course wins, but penalties are assigned for dropping the ball or starting before the previous dog crosses the finish line.
Flyball originated in southern California in the 1960’s and received a serious boost when Herbert Wagner invented the spring-loaded ball-launching box. According to the North American Flyball Association, the sport’s popularity has advanced to the point where timing and scoring is done electronically. The team Spring Loaded holds the world record for the event; all four dogs completed the course in 15.22 seconds combined.

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The line starts at the other end. No prob!
The cheesecake supervisor has arrived


1874:Father Patrick Francis Healy is named president of Georgetown University. The first American of African ancestry to receive a doctorate, Healy is also the first to become president of a predominantly white university.

1492: The Alhambra Decree, issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, goes into effect, expelling all of Jews who do not convert to Catholicism.

1972: Following revelations he had undergone electric shock therapy for depression, Sen. Thomas Eagleton withdraws as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. Presidential nominee George McGovern chooses Sargent Shriver to replace Eagleton as his running mate.


Routines we absolutely can't live without on vacation:
putting on makeup-18%
checking e-mail/smartphone-17%
reading newspaper-9%
everything else-31%
(Source:TNS for Springhill Suites)

Friday, July 30, 2010



How long is the typical commute to work:
-less than 15 minutes-19%
-15-29 minutes-37%
-30-45 minutes-23%
-46 minutes to 1 hour-13%
-more than 1 hour-7%
(source-IBM Consumer Pain survey of 8192 motorists)


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Qantas grou...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
We've all been there at some point - you board your plane, and a child starts crying, with no intention of stopping until the plane lands. Thankfully, most parents are able to soothe their little ones, but for one passenger on a Qantas flight, things were not that simple.
In January 2009, 67 year old Jean Barnard was walking down the aisle back to her seat, when a three year old boy leaned back over his armrest, and screamed so loudly at her, that blood came out of her ear, leaving her deaf.
Now, this is where the story takes an interesting turn, because Ms. Barnard sued Qantas claiming "the plane's cabin and cockpit crew failed to take all the necessary precautions to prevent the accident that resulted" in her injury".
 I'm at a loss as to what the crew could have done to prevent this accident. Unless of course locking toddlers away in the luggage hold is considered an appropriate solution. the airline simply can't be held responsible for actions of a passenger, especially a three year old.
Sadly, Ms. Barnard showed the often notorious American way of dealing with large companies, because she spent over a year in court, up till the point where Qantas gave in and settled in a confidential agreement.
The case stinks even more, because lawyers for Qantas discovered that Ms. Barnard admitted to wearing a hearing aid before the incident and uncovered an email in which she said the kid was lucky she did not stomp him to death.
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1965:Former President Harry S. Truman is enrolled as Medicare’s first beneficiary as President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare and Medicaid programs into law.

1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower approves a joint resolution of Congress making “In God We Trust” the official motto of the United States and adding the phrase to all paper currency.

2003: The last original Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle is assembled in Puebla, Mexico. The final car is the 21,529,464th classic Beetle produced by the German automaker.


President Angie accepts 4-way from Rick, Lori and Joe

Jeff sez yo and don't forget the raffle
President Pat sends greeting from Wood River

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Our program speaker was Madison County Treasurer Frank Miles who explained how his office is involved with the property tax cycle. Sit back and watch Frank as he explains the subject that elicits  a strong reaction from many  people.

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"He that climbs the tall tree has won right to the fruit." – Sir Walter Scot


LifeLock, a leader in identity theft protection, has joined the Rotary affinity program.
Rotarians, their family members, and friends will receive a 10 percent discount on a new annual subscription -- now US$99, regularly $110. 
Best of all, $25 of the proceeds from the sale of each LifeLock membership will benefit Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge.
To enroll, call 800-LIFELOCK (800-543-3562), or visit and use promo code "RI7."
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Hey, Arlington, Virginia residents, why are you spending so much on travel? Do you really want to get out that badly? According to a report by, the folks who live in Arlington spent twice the national average on travel last year: a whopping $3,534 per household. Nationwide, the norm came in at $1,571 for 2009. Meanwhile, Detroit residents spent a meager $1,158 per household on travel last year due largely to the dismal economic conditions there.

The top five cities for travel spending last year (i.e., people who live there paid to go elsewhere) aren't terribly surprising, in that they tend to be affluent and close to major airports.

1. Arlington, VA - $3,534
2. San Francisco, CA - $3,460
3. Washington, DC - $3,409
4. Scottsdale, AZ - $3,372
5. New York, NY - $3,274

And if there's a top five list, there must be one for the bottom, right? Garland, Texas residents either love the place so much they don't like to leave or simply have little appreciation for the outside world: they spent an average of $647 per household on travel last year.

5. Greensboro, NC - $820
4. Lexington, KY - $809
3. Memphis, TN - $683
2. Chula Vista, CA - $676
1. Garland, TX - $647
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:At age 35, Sports Illustrated’s “Olympian of the Century,” Carl Lewis, wins his fourth consecutive long jump gold medal and the ninth Olympic gold of his career at the Atlanta Summer Games.

1958: The “space race” is on! President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA.

1981: Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, marries Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The lavish ceremony is seen by more than 700 million television viewers around the world.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010



"Every mile is two in winter." – George Herber


This past Friday was National Hot Dog Day. And a New York City landmark restaurant, Serendipity 3, plans to celebrate by doing what many a baseball stadium has tried to do in the past: sell the world's most expensive hot dog.
The extravagant hot dog, dubbed The Serendipity Foot-Long Haute Dog, will sell for $69.
That's right. Sixty-nine bucks for a hot dog.
Sound hard to swallow? Rest assured, Serendipity's dog is no ballpark frank. The Upper East Side restaurant has taken the American icon and given it a designer makeover with beef grilled in delicate white truffle oil placed in a salted pretzel bread bun toasted with white truffle butter.
The Haute Dog will be topped with medallions of duck foie gras with black truffles, caramelized Vidalia onions, heirloom tomato ketchup and, of course, mustard (Dijon, with black truffles).
"It definitely will be the most delicious hot dog ever," Serendipity 3 publicist Joe Calderone told AOL News. "And the most opulent."
Owner Stephen Bruce and Serendipity's chef are responsible for the resplendent recipe.
"The hot dog is one of America's favorite foods, and since the foot-long hot dog at Serendipity has been so popular over the years, it makes sense to create a 'haute cuisine' version," Bruce said. "Especially on National Hot Dog Day!"
One local, longtime customer will have the honor of purchasing and indulging in the first Haute Dog on Friday. A Guinness World Records representative will be on hand to declare it the most expensive hot dog. Official Serendipity photographer (and my wife), Liz Steger, will capture its image for the Guinness book and for its unique place in hot dog history.
This would be the eatery's third Guinness World Record, joining the world's largest hot chocolate and the world's most expensive sundae: the $1,000 Serendipity Golden Opulence Sundae.
The sundae offers dessert lovers three scoops of Tahitian vanilla ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla beans, covered in 23-karat edible gold leafs and surrounded by a Grande Passion caviar, Amedei Porcelana chocolate, and other luxurious delicacies. It's served in a Baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with an 18-karat-gold spoon.
According to Calderone, the restaurant sells about one a week.
"Given the success of the sundae, I think the hot dog is going to do really well," he said. "It's a lot more reasonably priced than the $1,000 sundae."
The Haute Dog will, in fact, become a regular part of the menu, though orders will need to be placed 24 hours in advance to allow time for the special ingredients to be flown in fresh.
Calderone hopes the flamboyant frank will appeal to its frequent celebrity diners, including Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Jay-Z and Beyonce, and Cher.
"Cher is a regular who always gets the regular foot-long," Calderone said. "Now we will offer her the most expensive one."
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The UN headquarters in New YorkImage via Wikipedia
The annual Rotary-UN Day will be held on Saturday, 6 November, at United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Under the theme "Rotary and the UN: Building Communities, Bridging Continents," the daylong meeting will bring together key leaders from the United Nations, Rotary International, and other organizations to discuss humanitarian issues and opportunities for collaboration.
Organized by the RI representatives to the UN, this year’s event will feature presentations from senior UN staff and Rotary leaders as well as panel discussions on health, water, literacy, and youth.
High school-age students, including Interactors and Rotary Youth Exchange participants, can attend a special youth program in the morning and join the adult program in the afternoon.
Rotary-UN Day 2009 attracted more than 1,600 attendees from 46 countries. Because of reduced meeting space this year, early registration is encouraged. Read more.
To register, submit the appropriate form and payment.
For further information, contact Brad Jenkins, RI representative to the UN in New York.
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Now as the Rotary New Year begins, I wish you all of the prosperity which your good deeds merit.
May all things you ought have be yours.
May your charities rank among your necessary expenditures.
May you not fall into the popular error of thinking that happiness is to be found in outdoing your neighbors.
May it always be yours to look beneath the veneer of life to the solid substance which lies beneath.
May you be builders, not mere climbers.
May you be able to appraise life's blessings at their real worth.
May you be free to act in accordance with the dictates of your own conscience and good judgment.
May you not be slaves to meaningless customs, social or otherwise.
May you shun the groove followers.
May you have vision to discern the right and health, strength and will to do it.


When 52 year old Henrik Ulven ordered a "fresh made premium sandwich" on his Ryanair flight, he fully expected to receive just that. Instead, he described the food as inedible and "tasting like rubber" - so asked a flight attendant for something different.
According to Ulven, his request did not go down too well, and the flight attendant told him that if he didn't stop complaining, she'd report him to the authorities.
Ulven thought she was kidding, but upon landing at Norway's Rygge airport, local police boarded the plane and escorted him off. According to the police, he had given the cabin crew "a mouthful."
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1868:Secretary of State William Seward certifies that the 14th Amendment is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution. The amendment grants citizenship to former slaves and reaffirms that all citizens are entitled to due process and the “equal protection of the laws.”

1932: President Herbert Hoover sends federal troops under Gen. Douglas MacArthur to force the encamped Bonus Army protesters to leave Washington, D.C. Faced with tanks, bayonets and tear gas, thousands of World War I veterans eventually disband and leave the capital without receiving the pension funds they demand.

2005: The Provisional Irish Republican Army announces an end to its decades-long armed campaign and pledges to seek the removal of British rule from Northern Ireland through exclusively nonviolent means.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010



For Cameron Wilson, the Ottawa Rotary Home  has become a second home. Wilson, 20, has cerebral palsy; he’s also blind, developmentally delayed, and uses a wheelchair.
He first stayed at the home when he was four years old. His mother, Joan, cheerfully describes her daily routine: cutting up his food, changing his diapers, and checking on him in the middle of the night – except during his visits to the Ottawa Rotary Home.
Rotarians in Ottawa opened the home in 1982 – when the concept of respite care was new – to provide overnight relief to families whose children have severe physical disabilities or other complex medical conditions. “You have to look after the caregivers,” says Patricia Boomer, a member of the Rotary Club of Ottawa and past chair of the home’s board of directors. “They need a break sometimes. They need support. It doesn’t mean they want to give up their child.”
Joan and her husband use the respite time to go on vacation with their two daughters, attend the girls’ soccer tournaments and piano recitals, and deal with family emergencies. Last year, Joan hurt her back while moving her 160-pound son, and again, they turned to the Ottawa Rotary Home for support while she recovered.
She credits the home with providing a sense of balance between Cameron’s needs and the rest of the family’s. “If it hadn’t been for Ottawa Rotary Home, I don’t know how healthy our family would be,” she says. “The home has alleviated an incredible amount of stress in our lives and for other families as well.”
Since 1922, the Ottawa club has focused on helping children with disabilities, supporting a local summer camp and Easter Seals over the years.  
The home opened with 8 beds, later expanding to 12 and quickly becoming a model for respite care. “For years, people have come to us and asked, ‘How do you do this, how do you do that, how does it work?’” Boomer says.
In 2007, the Ottawa Rotary Home Foundation launched a capital campaign to build a larger facility. Over 18 months, it raised $2.3 million (surpassing its goal of $2 million) from 11 Rotary clubs in eastern Ontario, individual Rotarians, families who use the home, and other donors.
With additional funding from several major donors and the government, along with a land donation of 5 acres by a Rotarian, the $6.5 million project opened in February 2009. The original home also was renovated for adult residential care, for a total of 29 beds serving more than 200 families.
The new 18,000-square-foot building offers plenty of space and state-of-the-art features, such as a Snoezelen multisensory room, which uses combinations of gently stimulating colour, light, sound, shape, and texture to enhance therapy, learning, and relaxation.
In 2008, the facility received a United Way Community Builder Award and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce Not-for-Profit Organization of the Year Award.
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