Friday, March 28, 2008

Toastmaster Jokes

I've volunteered to be the Jokemaster at tonight's Area 54 Speech Contest. It's a first for me outside of our club environment. I have to present two jokes, the first prior to the beginning of the Evaluation Contest and the second prior to the beginning of the International Speech Contest. The guidelines given me were that the first should relate to contests, the second to public speaking. Here goes:

Joke #1
Contests and competitions are great fun, and there's probably no greater known contest than the race between the tortoise and the hare. Well, the snail heard about it and wanted to try his skill at some racing action as well, but was decidedly at a disadvantage. So he figured he would try car racing, and went to the local racetrack to enter the NASCAR competition.

The track manager scoffed at him, but the snail convinced him to let him enter. "Only one condition," stated the track manager. "You must drive with a big red 'S' on the top of your car to let everyone know you are a snail." The snail agreed and lined up for the big start. The race began, and predictably, the snail was in last place. But as time went on, he began to move ahead and was overtaking the more experienced drivers. One by one they fell to his superior driving skills, and the crowd was going crazy as they shouted "Look at that S-Car go!"
Joke # 2
Our friend the snail was victorious in his first attempt at NASCAR racing, but when it came to his first interview in front of the racetrack crowd and millions of TV viewers, he instantly froze and dropped dead on the spot. When he arrived in Snail Heaven, the Snail Guardian of the Gate asked him what happened. He responded, "My two greatest fears are death and public speaking. I just chose the lesser of two evils."

I should blog more often

Man, nearly two months since I made an entry. Too long.

And so many things have happened since the first of the year, I should be blogging every day. But I haven't. Well, here goes.


My dad had a heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. And it worked! He is back to his regular routine, with only minor restrictions.

I began my first term as President of my Toastmasters Club. One of my first official duties was to attend the District 39 President's breakfast. was underperforming for most of the month, and on into February. More about fixes in the February updates.

I played guitar with the Ascension Praise Band on a couple of Sundays. I played with them for about 5 months last year.

TR had a short regional tour, and it was a challenge to get reviews and pictures posted with the site's performance problems.


The site performance problems that plagued me for most of January (they actually began last October, but I didn't recognize it for what it was until January) continued into February, with a brief respite at the beginning of the month. For the next few weeks, I worked with my web host, and the final determination was to migrate to a new site, but not before the site went offline for about a week. Once the migration was begun, it took several days to complete the file transfer, an operation that would take about three hours under normal circumstances. Once the site was migrated, however, things were once again zippy. I had to do some manual updating of some applications and files because of underlying system differences from the old site, which took another week or so. But by the early part of March, things were pretty much working, but I'm still finding little things that need tweaking. One positive from all this is the financial support that TR fans provided. It helped pay the bills for a another year of web hosting.

The hugely positive news of the month was our new iMac. What a wonderful machine to replace our aged G4/400. According to Cece, I'm spending too much time on it, but it is really something.

Lent began during the month, and we attended Ash Wednesday services and a few Wednesday evening Lenten services at Ascension and Good Shepherd, but couldn't go every Wednesday as Cece and I both were fighting bad colds.

I also had to deal with a few days of Jury Duty. I wasn't selected for a trial jury, though I did get to the interview stage.

Brad had an issue at the end of the month and we had to call 911 at 5 AM. They responded quickly. He was having difficulty breathing, but when they arrived (with 5 minutes of the call) he had recovered. Chalk it up to his bad cold as well.

I achieved my Competent Communicator Award for Toastmasters on February 28. A great personal accomplishment.


As mentioned, early March was devoted to getting my web server back online and running. A lot of effort, but it paid off in the end with a much more stable and competent environment.

With no rain during March, there was no excuse for not doing some yardwork, other than finding the time. There's still a lot to do, but I'm making progress.

We took a three day vacation beginning St. Patrick's Day to Murphys. They make a great Corned Beef and Cabbage dish, but it is an Irish town, after all.

Easter was great with Holy Week worship at St. Johns and Easter morning worship at Memorial Auditorium. We had a great Easter meal at Matt and Katherine's.

As the month ends, our neighbors and we are rebuilding our storm damaged fence. Wednesday I spent a couple of hours removing the old fence and digging new post holes in the hard pan. Thursday we set new metal poles and removed the old wooden posts. Not a lot of fun, but the effort will pay off in a beautiful new fence.

Tonight, I'll be filling the role of Jokemaster at the Toastmasters Area 54 contest.