December 2010/January 2011 Constellation

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Season’s Greetings  

 As I gaze out the window at what nature has wrought, I can’t help but think about when I was a kid and how it seemed that winter always came early, just like this year. And although our family scraped by at times, we always put aside thoughts about what we didn’t have and thought about what would make family members happy. Something simple, perhaps, often homemade or bought on sale, but of course, the cost wasn’t important, it was the understanding that the receiver of your well thought out gift understood that it came from the heart and not the wallet.

I wonder if that idea, that concept, hasn’t been lost over the years. We are and always have been, a society based on consumption. It’s what our society revolves around. Basic economics. But maybe by fattening our wallets and looking for something expensive and not necessarily thought out, we’re actually taking the easy way out.

Now I understand the realities of this season and that Happy Holidays has replaced Merry Christmas, etc, and I respect that. But for most of us, trimming a tree and piling a bunch of gaily-colored gifts around the base is what we do.  It’s what’s expected. But what should also be expected is that those gifts have been mulled over and that the giver is confident the recipient will be appreciative. So as Holiday messages go, this is a simple one. Before you head out to the mall, think about what you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on. And if you wrap it yourself rather than having the mall do it, you’ll appreciate the giving even more.

Have a great holiday season.

Your newsletter editor,

Tim Wright
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Good Wine Cheap (and good food to go with it)
By John Grover

It would seem that we are hurtling very quickly toward another holiday season.  And, of course, one of life’s great challenges is “What to serve?” at holiday parties.  This month we have a quick and tasty appetizer served to us recently by one of the cooking Diva’s of the Hudson Valley, our friend Mandy.  And, we will recommend a complimentary wine that is perfect for the wide range of tastes at your family get-togethers.

The wine this month is the 2008 Pinotage from Nederburg Wines of the Paarl region of South Africa.  Pinotage is a viticultural cross between the Pinot Noir and Cinsault grape vines.  Pinot Noir was chosen for its rich flavor and Cinsault for its ability to flourish in hot dry climates such as South Africa.  This particular red wine is very easy to drink.  It starts with a fruity bouquet and produces rich cherry and raspberry tastes through the mouth.  Its low acidity and smoothness make it a perfect introduction to those persons not yet enthusiastic about red wines.  It makes for an attractive aperitif while still having enough character and body to accompany a hearty stew or a good steak.  This wine is broadly marketed for between $9 and $11 a bottle.
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reMARK, December, 2010
Betsy Yvonne Mark, RVC3



Writing reMARK is really hard right now. It’s the end of October and since September’s end I have been in the hospital, in rehab, or stuck at home following my knee replacement surgery. Feels like a lost month. Since joining Mensa in 1982, I don’t think there has been a month sans Mensa events for me. This is it! I hope it is the last. I did sneak out for a local dinner and it was wonderful – made me realize how much Mensa means to me. Being involved in Mensa activities is fun, intellectually stimulating and challenging, and enjoyable. If you aren’t taking advantage of those Mensa events in your local group area, I do encourage you to do so now. And, remember that you are welcome at Mensa events everywhere. When traveling be sure to check out activities happening in the local group of wherever you might be.

The American Mensa Committee met in Arlington, Texas, the weekend of November 12th. Because of deadlines, my report will be in January’s reMARK, however, I will post the happenings to both the Region 3 Yahoo and Facebook groups as soon after the meeting as I can. Please join one or both of those groups so that you can keep up with what’s happening on the National front. If you prefer, I would be happy to send what I post to you in a personal e-mail. Just let me know.

I am really looking forward to Cincinnati’s Regional Gathering December 3-5 and hope to see you there. If you didn’t pre-register, walk-ins are always welcome; the program and attendees are always the very best. It’s the last Region 3 RG of 2010. The next one will be Dayton’s 24 Karats! April 1-3, 2011. Information about this great RG can be found at http://www.region3.us.mensa.org/connections/events/AnnualEvents/RG-Dayton.htm. It will be fabulous and your presence will make it even better. Following that will be Southeast Michigan Mensa’s SEMMantics XXXII, April 29-May 1, 2011. I would be delighted to take your registration -- $65 till January 31.

In January on my way to Florida, as I did this year, I hope to join Kentuckiana Mensa at their monthly gathering and to have dinner with Bluegrass Mensa the following evening.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a safe beginning of winter. And, let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year. May it be healthy, prosperous and wonderful in every way for each and every one of you.

LLAP and Peace,

Betsy
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reMARK, January, 2011
Betsy Yvonne Mark, RVC3

 
Cincinnati’s Regional Gathering was wonderful! I had a great time with great friends. If you weren’t there, you missed a super weekend. Region 3 has two more RGs coming up very soon. Dayton Area Mensa is hosting 24 Karats! April 1-3, 2011. Information about this great RG can be found at http://www.dayton.us.mensa.org/index_files/RG.htm. It’s only $6o postmarked by February 28. Southeast Michigan Mensa is hosting SEMMantics XXXII, The SEMMinal Event of 2011, April 29-May 1. Information about this great RG can be found at http://localsemm.com/semmantics/. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend 24 Karats because I have a family commitment that weekend, but I will be at SEMMantics and am willing to take your money for it – postmarked by January 31 -- it’s only $65 (special discounts available at RGs)!
 
I am flexible! Knee is really good (thanks for your good wishes and support) and my travel schedule has had to be readjusted. I will be going to Florida in mid-February and so I will join Kentuckiana Mensa at their regularly scheduled dinner/speaker meeting on Saturday, February 19 – although this is tentative and subject to change. (I hope to have the final day, date, time, and location in February’s reMARK.) On Sunday, February 20, I will be in Lexington, Kentucky, and will have dinner at the Golden Corral, 185 E. New Circle Road, at 5pm. I hope Bluegrass Mensans will join me there as they did last year. Mensa gatherings are good!
 
The next American Mensa Committee (AMC) meeting is scheduled for March 26 in Atlanta. If you are traveling in that area, please join us. I will be driving there on my way home from Florida. If you have items you wish to see on the agenda, let me know as soon as possible – the deadline for the agenda is February 18 -- and I will try my best.
 
Speaking of AMC meetings, I have been asked to better report on meetings and to let you know how I voted on the motions presented. Check the National website for the lengthy agenda and minutes. The fall AMC meeting was held November 12-13 in Fort Worth, Texas. We began both Friday and Saturday at 8:45am; Friday we took a couple of hours off for dinner, but my last meeting – of RVCs – ended at 10pm; Saturday we finished at 5pm. The agenda was almost 50 pages and I can’t wait to see how long the minutes are! Here goes my short version of what was moved and how I voted.
 
*--Motion to increase dues effective January 1, 2011, from $59 to $63 passed. I voted no. Also voting no were Guy Conti, Roger Durham and Marc Lederman.
*--Motion  to update Budgetary and Purchasing Policy passed unanimously.
*--Motion to remove the requirement of prior service on the AMC for all candidates for Chairman, whether nominated by the Nominating Committee or by petition failed. I voted for. Also voting for were John Recht, Guy Conti and Marc Lederman.
*--Motion to replace national hearings committee with regional hearings committee failed. I voted no.
*--Motion to appoint auditors passed unanimously.
*--Motion to borrow up to $300,000 from the principal of the Life Dues Fund investment account to fund current operations through December 31, 2010. The principal, including interest at an annualized rate of 2.5%, must be repaid to the Life Dues Fund investment account by March 31, 2011 passes unanimously.
*--A motion concerning ride, room and other event-associated sharing passed unanimously. Basically, it means that Mensans can be guided to venues where they can make their own arrangements, but that assignments should not be made by organizers of events.
*--Motion to list Regional Gatherings in the Bulletin for at least six months passed. I voted yes.
*-*--Motion that AMC expresses its desire to hold physical meetings 4 times a year passed. I voted yes.
*-- “Motion to revise the MSBs (to allow for electronic distribution of ballots and tidy up a few other minor things to make it all smooth with recent changes in the AML bylaws ((such as the new ombudsman mandates))). One sticking point is that it also mandates that LGs must call an ombudsman an ombudsman, not a mediator or arbitrator.” (wording taken from Robin Crawford’s blog) passed. I voted yes.
*-- “Motion that AMC expresses its desire to hold physical meetings 4 times a year passed. I voted yes.
*-- “Motion to revise the MSBs (to allow for electronic distribution of ballots and tidy up a few other minor things to make it all smooth with recent changes in the AML bylaws ((such as the new ombudsman mandates))). One sticking point is that it also mandates that LGs must call an ombudsman an ombudsman, not a mediator or arbitrator.” (wording taken from Robin Crawford’s blog) passed. I voted yes.
- “Motion to revise the MSBs (to allow for electronic distribution of ballots and tidy up a few other minor things to make it all smooth with recent changes in the AML bylaws ((such as the new ombudsman mandates))). One sticking point is that it also mandates that LGs must call an ombudsman an ombudsman, not a mediator or arbitrator.” (wording taken from Robin Crawford’s blog) passed. I voted yes.
*--Motion that the AMC would review and retain final approval for those selected to represent AML in the Leadership Exchange Program failed. I voted yes. Also voting yes was Art Mattson. Abstaining were Jean Becker and Debra Reiger.
*--Motion to adopt updated Model By-Laws passed unanimously.
*--Motion to publish mini-minutes of AMC meetings in the Bulletin failed. This motion was requested by a Region 3 member and I moved. I voted for. Also voting for were Debra Reiger, Guy Conti, Marc Lederman, Jean Becker and Bob Bevard. Abstaining were Dan Burg and Robin Crawford.
*--Consent Agenda passed unanimously.
*--Motion to endorse Willem Bowens for MIL Chair passed. I voted yes.
*--There will be an AMC conference call in January, date not yet determined, to decide Leadership candidates, MIL nominations, and changes to the budget if necessary.
*--Robin Crawford presented the findings of the Governance Task Force.
*--Robin Crawford narrated a Name and Logo Committee Presentation.
 
Exhausted, yes!
 
Thanks for letting me represent Region 3.
 
LLAP and Peace,
 
Betsy
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January 2001 Calendar
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Calendar of Events,
December 2010 and January 2011


Thursday, December 30th, 7:00 p.m., The Old Toad, 277 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY. Say goodbye to the old year with fellow Mensans at this delightful Rochester nightspot. (585) 232-2626. http://www.theoldtoad.com/

Thursday, January 6th, 6:30 p.m., Agatina’s, 2967 Buffalo Road, Rochester, NY. New Member Event. Come say hello to your fellow Mensan’s, both new and not so new at this wonderful Italian Restaurant. (585) 426-0510.
http://www.agatina’s.com/

Saturday, January 15th, Board of Directors Meeting, 3 p.m., at Chez Naiko.

Saturday, January 22nd, 7 p.m., RAM post holiday party hosted by Bob McKeever, 4 Chesfield Lookout, Fairport, NY. East of Turk Hill Road, off High Street extension. Ring in the New Year yet again at this after holiday party graciously hosted by Bob McKeever. Please RSVP only if you’re coming by January 17th. BYOB and if you like, bring a dish to pass. Bob’s number is (585) 223-7788.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 3rd, 7 p.m., First Thirstday at The Anchor Bar, Marketplace Mall, Henrietta, NY. Join your fellow Mensans for a bite, a beverage and bit of conversation at this newly opened bar and grill in the mall.

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 Kristin or Tim by January 15th to suggest a new item for the February newsletter.