I just got back from Colloquium 2006, presented by Mensa of Northeastern New York (MoNY), and am still in a state of cosmological excitement. "Revolution in Cosmology" with its sellout audience, was the best Mensa event I have ever attended. The stellar caliber of the speakers, the high level discussions, the intensity of the debates sparked by the various points of view, all contributed to a mental stimulation that was both refreshing and thought provoking. While all of MoNY deserves the highest praise for producing a superb event, special plaudits are due Judy Keating, MoNY's president and Dr. Harry Ringermacher, the Speaker Chair, who together conceived the idea and saw it to fruition. On the opening night, I was pleased to present MoNY with a Regional Service Award Certificate in recognition of the positive effect the Colloquium bestowed on not only Region 1, but Mensa as a whole.
My column last month, had it been possible to write it, would have been entitled "What Got Fried In Region 1". At the beginning of September my computer's hard drive Got Cranky. Then it got Very, Very, Very Sick. The horrors of the hard drive crash (actually it was a freeze) are still lingering with me. A Big Thank You goes to Brian Glasser of Greater New York Mensa for his invaluable help in diagnosing and testing my computer and ultimately giving me a replacement hard drive.
The last weekend in September found me up in Vernon CT attending Connecticut & Western Massachusetts' MensAutumn RG. An eclectic panel of speakers, including a Muslim Chaplin, an authority on First Amendment issues regarding indecency, "The Meditation Man", among others, provided attendees with thought provoking ideas. The acknowledged stars of the RG, however, were unable to speak. Three dogs from the Manchester Police's K9 team came with their human partners. The policemen gave obedience, retrieval and detaining demonstrations on the grounds outside the RG hotel. They also talked about the special relationship they have with their dogs, how the dogs are trained, and what methods are used to help keep Connecticut free of illicit substances.
As many of you may know, I have decided to run for the Chairmanship of American Mensa in next year's elections. I have appointed Lori Norris of Rhode Island Mensa as Assistant Regional Vice Chair. Lori is running for RVC1 and by making this appointment I hope to effectuate a smooth leadership transition should she win office.
Belated Get Well wishes go to two LocSecs: Mary Jo Kelleher (Mensa of the Southern Tier) and Claire Natola (New Hampshire/Maine Mensa), both of whom are recovering from gall bladder surgeries. Claire was comforted no doubt by the two awards bestowed upon her group at the World Gathering: a GOTYA (Group Of The Year Award) and Best in Mensa Recognition for Momentum, NH/M's newsletter, where she was editor.
CultureQuest, the ultimate Mensa geek contest, had two Region 1 finalists: Misha's Vineyard Players of Greater New York Mensa (5th place); and the Next Generation team (ages under 16 years) of The Olympians from Connecticut & Western Massachusetts Mensa (1st place). Congrats!!!!!
As the days get shorter, it's time to "put things by" for the long winter months. These pickles will keep in the refrigerator for months, getting more pungent as they age. They would be great on your Thanksgiving condiment platter.
- Wash jars well with soapy water and rinse thoroughly
- Place sliced cucumbers in layers of about 1 cup at a time in a large non-reactive bowl, sprinkling 1/8 tsp salt on each layer, using 1 tsp of the salt.
- Add onion, then gently toss. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Drain off any liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl.
- To make brine combine remaining ingredients with the 2 tsp. salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil stirring occasionally. Let boil until sugar has dissolve, about 2 minutes.
- Pour brine over cucumbers and onions. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Using slotted spoon or tongs, divide mixture among the jars. [Add one or more layers of pepper if desired.}Try to get a piece of garlic in each jar. Pour enough liquid to cover cucumbers, using extra vinegar if necessary.
- Slide a table knife down the inside of each jar to help settle contents and remove any air pockets. This might create room for more cucumbers.
- Screw lids on and let stand at room temperature until cool. Refrigerate at least 24 hours, preferably 48 or more. Shake jars every so often to keep flavours diffused