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May 2007 RVC Column

(Written and posted 4/7/07)

Northwest Passages

RVC Column for May Newsletters in Region 8
by John Recht, Region 8 RVC

Normally I end my column with plugs for upcoming events, but I am going to turn that around this month and begin with one. That's because this is your very last chance to register for the party of the decade, Oregon Mensa's tenth consecutive Regional Gathering (RG), from May 11-13 at the Holiday Inn - Portland Airport, in Portland, OR. We are calling it "Sheer Decadence," and we fully intend to live up to that billing.

Highlights of the 2007 RG program include the official Region 8 Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament; a brand new Lingerie Fashion Show; crowd favorites such as Kill Da Wabbit, Lightning Talks, the Joke-Off, and Fishbowl; presentations on chocolate, absinthe, how to make a living writing reviews of porn films, the real-life CSI experiences of Dr. Karen Gunson, hiking Europe in search of Einstein's violin, geocaching, earthquakes and tree rings, the musical life of Amy Bleu, and the art of "Selling Out" with Andrew Dickson; lavish hospitality, including Jeff Fisher's gourmet beer selections; two auctions with hundreds of excellent books, and lots of great stuff, such as an outdoor enthusiasts' duffle bag jam-packed with items, an original sculpture, a Thai dinner for 6 cooked at the winner's home, a private tour at Oregon National Primate Research Center, a collection of various kinds of puzzles, and a package of adult items donated by the lingerie fashion retailers (including a $200 stripper pole); and much, much more.

To begin the festivities and to set the tone for the weekend, there will be a Wine Tour and a Beer Tour on Friday, May 11. By the time you read this, it may be too late to join in the Wine Tour, but the best way to go along for the ride, and to be a part of this historic RG, is to go to http://www.oregon.us.mensa.org/rg/index.php and register for what promises to be a sheer delight. Come and find out for yourself how much fun being a Mensan can be!

In my April column I reported that I was on the way to Japan, to visit my daughter Josie, who is also a member of Oregon Mensa. We had a splendid time together, and I enjoyed Japan enormously. If you are interested, you will find out a lot about what we did on my blog at www.johnrecht.com. You'll find a few hundred photos as well. Josie looks great in a kimono!

When I returned from Japan, I found myself on the road again in almost no time. This time it was to Chicago and the Colloquium on Humor. The Colloquium was well-run, and I particularly enjoyed the keynote speech by Merrill Markoe. Rubi Nicholas and John Vorhaus were excellent, and Matt Crawford's "Take My Punchline, Please" was fast and really funny.

Following the Colloquium, the last American Mensa Committee (AMC) meeting of the current term went smoothly, as usual. This AMC has been very focused and collegial, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with such an outstanding group. It is especially satisying for me to see that American Mensa is on the upswing in so many ways, and I will continue to do my part to help that along in my second term as Regional Vice Chair for Region 8.

In closing, here's another plug: right after you register for the Oregon Mensa RG, click over to www.ag2007.org/ and register for the Annual Gathering (AG). It's a glorious feeling, to be in the company of upwards of 1,500 of your best Mensan friends for a rollicking good time! The dates are July 4-8, the place is Birmingham, AL, and I hope to see you there....