Tonight’s meeting, despite a full agenda, was sparsely attended. Lots of folks did not show and we had holes everywhere. Down a humorist, I stepped up with an unrehearsed joke. I like the joke, but the delivery needed improvement.

It’s difficult speaking to an empty room. We had but seven members this evening for our meeting. Because of that, I didn’t get a whole lot of feedback during my speech. Frankly, our club is not terribly demonstrative.

The delivery was okay. I need to pause. I used to need to pause to slow down. Now I need to pause to break apart my thoughts. I do not feel as though I rushed things, but the three parts of the story needed segmentation to help provide structure for the audience.

Water chestnuts escaped me. In its place: walnuts. What? I have no idea how that happened.

The evaluation picked up on the structure of the story and how I used my father’s advise as the “hero”. There were some very complimentary remarks made to me about my speech. I am encouraged.


I am working om my third Competent Communication manual with Boardwalk Toastmasters. I delivered my Ice Breaker this evening. I decided to approach this a little differently than my other ice breakers. I thought it would be neat to introduce myself through my failures. A lot of what I read and listen to talks about authenticity through vulnerability. I am not good on exposing my less than best moments. I am working on that.

Generally speaking, I was pleased with this speech.

  • I buttoned my blazer as I began the speech. I should have waited and settled before speaking.
  • I used Snoopy in my list of characters. I wanted to avoid that.
  • I stammered forgetting the Peanuts cookbook.
  • I am not certain what happened when I quoted my mother, but I became tongue-tied.
  • There was a good laugh after the sandwich line.
  • In my zeal to use the word of the day (ostentatious), I lost momentum for my close to part one. I should have not tried to insert the word at that point.
  • I did not use the stage well at all. I should have walked my timeline. There was no positional change when I moved from the food segment to the student council story.
  • Instead of “The boy stood up and said, “Bobby, why are you the best candidate?” that should have been “The boy stood up and asked, “Bobby, why are you the best candidate?”
  • I need to pause between segments. I went right from sixth grade to college. Pause. Let the audience digest what they just heard.
  • I should not have said “a beautiful girl from Bermuda.” Leave it at “a girl from Bermuda.”
  • Longer eye contact. I am panning the audience too much. Engage, then move on.
  • Another pause needed after “I don’t want to marry you any longer.” Let that emotion sink in. Don’t repeat “Ouch”. Does that seem like it as taken from Darren LaCroix? Not my intention, but it sounds like him.
  • I don’t know where the “Dad said” came from. It was to be, “I dragged my broken heart home. Dad sat me down and offered some sage advice.”
  • The line should have been, “The relationship was the failure.”
  • I lost the word “heed” for a second and stammered. Grrr . . .
  • I left out “Christian” from the list of adjectives describing my wife.
  • Good laugh at the “No offense, ladies” line.
  • The popcorn line should have been delivered more slowly.
  • I goofed the line about our children. It should have been, “Together, we created two amazing and really neat children.”
  • I flubbed the line about my success as a speaker. It should have been, “I now run assemblies. I can speak to a room of parents. And I can speak to an intelligent and beautiful audience such as this one tonight.”
  • I should not have repeated the word “sage”. It sounds too rehearsed.
  • The last line was stated with a trailing off voice. That should have been punched up!

First Flight

Almost 20 years ago I recall finding myself in a hobby shop near the apartment I lived in at the time. I believe I purchased a rocket for one of my nephews for Christmas or his birthday. I recall thinking, “This would be a neat hobby.” Somewhere around there, someone at the school I taught at had a parent come out and demonstrate a rocket launch. I am not certain, but it may have been a water rocket. I just don’t recall, just a vague memory.

Advance forward until a year or so ago. I began thinking that rockets might be something Fritz and I could do together. Nothing materialized.

About a month ago it was announced that the Scouts would be building a rocket to launch. Unfortunately, Fritz’s group was considered too young to do so; we built balsa airplanes instead. The following week we went to see the rockets launched. Very kewl! I thought that Fritz and I could do this. I visited Michel’s, Hobby Lobby, and that same hobby shop I visited nearly 20 years ago. I learned a little about the hobby. I began reading online.

I am not a crafty person. I decided the “Ready to Fly” kit would be best. But the weekend got busy and we didn’t get one. Then my sister came for a visit. Fritz and Beetle were in their school performance. In lieu of flowers for Fritz, his aunt wanted to get him something else. I suggested a rocket. He was so excited!

Today was her last day visiting. We put together the “Ready to Fly” rocket and headed out. It was cold and breezy. Making the connections with the alligator clips was a touch tricky, but eventually the thing shot off. Very kewl!

It flew away from us with all the wind. Beetle retrieved it. The parachute was all tangled and we were cold so we headed home after one launch. That was just fine; the rocket flew and it was neat. I look forward to future flights. Rockets are fun!

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The first half of the book was very good; the back half read as a sales pitch.

It is true that rich folks speak about money and build assets before addressing liabilities, which are limited. That is a very good lesson and presented well. But when the author starts speaking like, “Don’t listen to poor people,” it became a very arrogant read. “My Porsche”, “I make 8,000 a month doing nothing”, etc.

But the overriding thing I learned is confirmation of the sales pitch I am learning from Darren LaCroix, Ed Tate, and Craig Valentine. It’s the same vehicle. Have people buy your book (or check it out of the public library, as I did), lure them in with a free audio give away, and then provide more products for the customer to purchase (overpriced games, for instance).

This must work as folks are doing it over and over. If Kiyosaki is so wealthy, why take the time to write a book? It is not to share his information, it’s to generate more assets. ;)

Read with a skeptical eye.

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“I've been a searcher, I've been a fool”