Rochester Area Mensa
The Constellation

[ Editor | Region 3 | Calendar | Events | Questions | Wine ]

Greetings, fellow Mensans.

We’ve finally emerged from a long and brutal winter and nothing I could say would add to this photo, (the cliché’ about a picture being worth a thousand words). So I offer this to each of you in the hope that you, like Spring is doing now, will put in an appearance at an upcoming function. Our organization needs fresh ideas and I’m positive that each of you, at one time or another, has thought about why you joined Mensa and what you could possibly do to help us grow.

So please, if you can find an evening or an afternoon, come have some spirited
conversation with a fellow Mensan. You’ll be glad you did.

With best regards,
Tim Wright
Editor, The Constellation.

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reMARK, March, 2011
Betsy Yvonne Mark, RVC3

I’m in Florida! No snow! No ice! (Don’t like my beverages iced either, but I’ve seen some in beverages of others.) On my drive here I had a wonderful time with Kentuckiana Mensans at their monthly gathering -- dinner and games. While I caught up with Katie, I sat between two groups; one reading Trivial Pursuit questions, some of which I could actually answer; the other playing a hilarious game of Apples to Apples which generated laughter loud enough at times to drown out the questions and/or answers of the other group. The evening passed way too quickly. Got to see some I’ve met before and some new to me Mensans. And, there was Sally! She had been a member of Southeast Michigan Mensa and had met me years ago at a Tavern on 13 event that I attended only once! Sadly, that establishment recently closed and the group has moved across the street for their Friday night gathering. Thank you, Kentuckiana for your kind hospitality.

The next evening I had dinner with Bluegrass Mensans in Lexington, Kentucky. What a fun time with great Mensans, great conversations and much laughter. I am looking forward to a return visit, which will happen next year, if not before, since I was notified that those running unopposed for National office were declared elected. That’s me for you as RVC3. I am honored to represent the greatest Region (3) in American Mensa.

Got to Atlanta, added to my Frabel collection and had dinner with Laurie; what a great day! And I got to miss the 8-9 inches of snow that was dumped on my driveway.

I have scheduled my visits with Vandalia Mensa for May 26 at the Panera Bread restaurant located at 2830 Mountaineer Boulevard, Charleston, West Virginia 25309, 6PM. I will have lunch the following day at the IHOP. 201 Venture Drive in Morgantown at 1PM. Looking forward to seeing Vandalia Ms and the beautiful drives!

It’s definitely not too late to register for Southeast Michigan Mensa’s RG, SEMMantics XXXII, The SEMMinal Event of 2011, April 29-May 1. Information about this great RG can be found at

When I wrote this, it was almost totally booked, but you may still be able to register for Mind Games to be held April 15 in Albany, NY: http://

And, don’t forget the Annual Gathering in Portland, Oregon: A Great Journey West June 30-July 4. Tour announcements and other information may be
found at: The registration form can be found at:

LLAP and Peace,
Betsy Yvonne Mark

3674 Oak Drive - Ypsilanti, MI 48197
734-434-5757 (Home) or 313-530-2055 (Mobile)
Region 3 Website -
Yahoo group -
Facebook group -
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Calendar of Events, April, 2011

Sunday, April 17 at 2 PM – Put spring in your step at Kraai Preserve, viewing wildflowers and walking along a woodland trail that runs parallel to Ganargua Creek. Take Rt. 88 north from Newark. Turn east on Mud Mills Rd., then north on Welcher Rd. Norsen Rd. is a left at a bend in Welcher Rd. Trailhead is at the dead end of Norsen Rd. The walk will be followed by refreshments at Cross Park Family Restaurant, 121 East Union St. (Rt. 31), Newark (315) 331-9120.

Thursday, April 28 at 7 PM – International Food Night at China Buffet, 376 Jefferson Rd., Henrietta, across from Southtown (427-0240) featuring an extensive all you can eat buffet that everyone enjoyed last year.

First Thirstday, May 5th at 7 PM - The Anchor Bar in Marketplace Mall. A relaxing evening with your favorite beverage and some great wings or whatever you prefer. The music is quiet enough to enjoy Mensan conversation, too. Hope to see you there.

Fold, Spindle, Mutilate, May 6th at 7 PM - Tim’s domicile, 18 Pecos Circle, West Henrietta, NY. Please call 334-6063 for directions. Thanks and I hope to see you there.

Note: In the unlikely event that there is a problem with our reservation when we arrive, we may need to make a decision to move to another venue on the spot. We will wait a half hour before moving to allow for late arrivals, so try not to arrive later than this so you know where we are in the event of a move.

Don’t see your favorite event or venue? Contact Tim by April 25th to suggest a new item for the May newsletter.
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Timely Questions

Asking the questions about issues you want to know more about and including responses from members like you! 

Do you find you have an easier time making friends with the Mensans you meet than with “normal” people? Why (or why not) do you think this is?

“Absolutely! Only at a Gathering am I comfortable enough to sit down and strike up a conversation with someone I’ve never even seen before. I used to use the old cliché ‘Some of my best friends aren’t Mensans,’ but when I thought about it, it’s really not true. I have many friends who are not Mensans, but none of them are my best friends. All my best friends are Mensans.” - Lessa Scherrer, Mensa of Wisconsin (

“No. I have a much easier time making face to face friends or familiar acquaintances with ‘normal’ local people of my community rather than with distant Mensans.. The Mensan ‘online community’ forum is the only place where I can regularly ‘meet’ other Mensans. LGs, RGs and AGs are too distant and expensive to attend more than one every few years.” - Joe Swyers, High Mountain Mensa (

“Nope. We just talk about different things.” - Kurt Kurosawa, Tidewater Mensa (

“Outside of Mensa, there seems to be a strong communications gap. It is hard for me to tell sometimes which is from the high IQ and which is from Aspergers Syndrome. I do what I can to adapt, but only four types of people seem to bridge that gap to any degree: Mensa-level non-members (some of my family doctors come to mind); creative types, whether they are Mensalevel or not (they still tend to be flexible thinkers); kind people (kindness seems conducive to similar flexibility); and people in Vineyard-type churches (the Holy Spirit has often connected us beyond our usual awkwardness).” - Lawrence Vangarde, Mensa of Wisconsin (

Do you think having a reputation for being elitist may actually be beneficial to the organization as whole? Do you think an image of “just regular folks” might lessen the attraction of belonging?

“I think being ‘just regular smart folks’ would help our image - it would also be a truer representation of who we are. The media likes to portray us as super geniuses with all types of quirks and idiosyncrasies. We’re not super geniuses; every graduating high school class in the country (that’s large enough) has some folks who’d qualify. Contrary to the public’s image of us, we don’t all collect belly button lint or keep journals of how often we belch or pass gas. Lots of us are just regular folks who happen to be intelligent.” - Charles Roberts, Mensa In Georgia (

“I don’t think Mensans by definition are just regular old folks and trying to portray them as such wouldn’t be beneficial to the organization. People seek out Mensa because of the intelligence requirements, not because they want to hang out with regular old folks. If they did, there are plenty of other societies or organizations for that.” - Frederick Goertz, Lone Star Mensa (

Being in the upper 2 percent, Mensans are often in a subordinate position to someone with a lower IQ than themselves in the workplace. How do you deal with taking direction from someone who may not be as intelligent as you are?

“Huh? At 2 percent of the population, isn’t this the rule rather than the exception? In fact, don’t almost all workers think their bosses are dumber, no matter their actual respective IQs? It never bothered me, and 10 years after I’d joined Mensa I worked two decades in the building trades at a job that only requires a HS diploma (and the ability to lift 50 pounds) while I already possessed a master’s. One tries to become a ‘learned colleague,’ humbly offering up tips, hints and suggestions while not claiming to be smarter. Everyone knew I was a member; I just didn’t make them hate me for it!” - Conrad Pomykala, Chicago Area Mensa (

“I find myself often in conflict with workplace authorities with lower IQs who cannot seem to fully grasp the complexity of the challenges of growing the company, while maintaining an innovative, ethical and enthusiastic workplace. Such authorities can gain my respect by intelligently utilizing the workforce talent they have to help them make intelligent choices for the business, but that usually means that they must sublimate their own ego to do so. (Something many managers are loathe to do.)” - James Russell, Denver Mensa (

“When I owned a title and abstract company, I instructed all my employees to refer complaining customers directly to me. One complainer was dissatisfied with my response and demanded to speak to my superior. I told her, ‘Madam, I have no superiors, and damned few equals.’” - James Catron, Mensa 76 (
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Good Wine Cheap
(and good food to go with it)

By John Grover

“The good California wines are over-priced. There, I’ve said it. And, I am not taking it back.” Like with most generalizations, there are many exceptions. But, I believe that the statement is pretty close to being true in regard to the Pinot Noirs from California. The 2004 movie Sideways had the same effect on Pinot Noir prices that a Middle East oil embargo has upon the price of gasoline. Fortunately, California does not have a monopoly upon the wine made from this grape. There are excellent Pinot Noirs produced in Oregon, Australia, New Zealand and of course, the mother country, Burgundy. And, we in the Northeast U.S. are blessed by some very good Pinot Noir made right here in Upstate New York.

The first wine this month is the 2008 Pinot Noir from Hosmer Vineyards of Cayuga Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region. This is a very refined red wine that starts with a nose of leather and cherry. It then produces dark cherry tastes with a rich balance of tannins. This wine is reminiscent of a more old world style with nuances of earth and minerals throughout the tasting. It is available from the winery for $15 a bottle.

The second wine is the 2008 Pinot Noir from Brotherhood Winery in New York’s Hudson Valley. This wine is a bit lighter in body and color than the first with a distinctive berry nose and rich cherry and red currant taste. This is clearly a more new world style with the emphasis on the fruit. This wine is marketed for between $12 and $15 a bottle.

Salmon with vodka cream sauce

Ingredients: 1 can low-sodium chicken broth; ¾ lb. salmon filet; 2 tbsp. Olive oil; 7 or 8 plum tomatoes (or canned); ¾ cup chopped fresh basil (or ¼ cup dried); 1 large clove garlic, minced; 4 tbsp. light cream cheese; 2 oz. vodka; 2 ½ cups cooked farfalle (butterfly) pasta (about 5 oz. uncooked); grated Pecorino Romano cheese; salt and pepper to taste

In a large nonstick pan heat the chicken broth until it approaches boiling. Add the salmon fillet, cover the pan and poach for 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm. Remove the salmon to a plate and flake it. Reserve the chicken broth.

Heat the olive oil in the same skillet and sauté the tomatoes, basil and garlic. When they are cooked through, return about ½ to ¾ of the broth to the pan then add cream cheese, stirring to blend. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper; then add vodka.

Place the salmon back in the pan and combine it with the sauce. If sauce is too thin, add more cream cheese.  If too thick, add more broth. Serve over pasta and garnish with Pecorino.

I hope that you will contact me with your comments and favorite wines at I will be happy to share them with the broader Mensa group.

John Grover is a member of Mensa of Northeastern New York. He lives with his wife Sharon in the Hudson Valley of New York.