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Speak Up Toastmasters, Batavia NY

By Patrick Olson
Jun 6, 2011, 8:42am

 A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants develop their speaking and leadership skills in a friendly atmosphere.

Stop by and see for yourself.  Guests are always welcome. Our next meeting is Tuesday June 14 at 1 Mill Street, Batavia NY

Event Date and Time

Speak Up Toastmasters, Batavia NY

By Patrick Olson
Apr 26, 2011, 4:29pm

Learn communication and leadership skills in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.

Attend a free meeting to see how this program can benefit you.

The next meetings will be at 1 Mill Street, Batavia, NY  14020.

May 10th and May 24th 2011.

Please arrive at 7:00 pm.  We conclude at 9:00 pm


Event Date and Time

Toastmasters club meets at the Richmond Memorial Library

By Daniel Crofts
Aug 21, 2010, 1:33pm

Want to learn how to communicate well in any situation, whether you are a blue-collar worker, stay-at-home mom, a student or retiree? Interested in learning the fine art of communication in a nonjudgmental atmosphere, where everyone is your peer, assignments are designed for self-paced learning, and effort is always applauded?

Event Date and Time

Conversations with Calliope- Pen and Voice

By Joseph Langen
Nov 13, 2009, 7:55am




(Seaman's Bethel Chapel)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How goes the fray?
JOE: Making progress. I printed sample cover and insert designs for my CD and produced a trial Master CD as well.
CALLIOPE: Are you ready to go public?
JOE: Not quite yet. Although the quality of the CD is okay, it could be better. I think I will work on it a while longer to see if I can improve it.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you are learning some patience.
JOE: I am. Maybe it comes with age. I have more now than I did last year and act less impulsively.
CALLIOPE: That should produce a better result. What differences do you see between writing and recording?
JOE: Excellent question. First the advantages and disadvantages of writing. Writing is visible. The whole piece can be seen at once. The context is more apparent. It's also easier to edit. Writing is also more familiar to me. However it's harder to show inflection and subtle meanings which would be more apparent speaking. People seem less inclined to read these days.
CALLIOPE: And recording?
JOE: I guess the opposite of writing. Subtle meanings are easier to convey in recording with tone of voice, inflection, accent and pace of speaking. However I am less practiced with recording and find editing more cumbersome than with writing. The whole context is harder to see and refer to with recording.
CALLIOPE: So which one wins?
JOE: Difficult to say. Both have their advantages and technology for both advances daily. Both are useful channels with their own pros and cons.
CALLIOPE: Good answer.
JOE: Why thank you. Talk with you tomorrow.



Conversations with Calliope- Brain Optimization

By Joseph Langen
Oct 29, 2009, 9:01am




(Wedding Conversation)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Thinking.
CALLIOPE: About what?
JOE: Yesterday I worked on search engine optimization (SEO), what it is all about and how to do it.
JOE: As I was considering what to write this morning, the term "brain optimization" popped into my mind.
CALLIOPE: What do you mean by it?
JOE: How should I know. I've never heard these two words together before.
CALLIOPE: Then speculate?
JOE: Fair enough. I found a definition of SEO yesterday, "altering and improving the natural search listings that will be returned for various keywords and phrases."
CALLIOPE: Sounds rather stodgy to me. How could it apply to brains?
JOE: We could arrange our brains to respond to others by giving something important to them.
CALLIOPE: Interesting.
JOE: I think we often tell people what's important to us and forget about their needs. Something to work on. Talk with you tomorrow.



Conversations with Calliope- Connecting with Joe Cocker

By Joseph Langen
May 6, 2009, 9:53am


Oatka Creek Falls)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Still savoring last night's adventure.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: For the first time, I heard Joe Cocker perform. It's been a long time since I had an experience which defies words.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: We have been discussing words, writing and reading lately. Last night reminded me that there is more to experience than words and ideas.
CALLIOPE: Such as?
JOE: The visceral aspect. The rumbling of the percussion resonated in the core of my being without conveying any words.
CALLIOPE: Did that surprise you?
JOE: Not really. I just tend to forget sometimes that words are not everything and that experience can surround me in many ways besides verbal.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like you enjoyed it.
JOE: I did. The volume of the performance eclipsed any thoughts I might try to have. The music filled me and took over my consciousness.
JOE: That's what I thought. I think I need to be more aware of my surroundings and what they have to offer to all my senses. Talk with you tomorrow.

Conversations with Calliope- The Cult of Immediacy

By Joseph Langen
May 5, 2009, 9:16am


(Immaculate Conception Monastery Garden)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I was confused about something in your blog yesterday.
JOE: Oh?
CALLIOPE: You talked about e-book readers but then you attached a picture of a young man talking on his cell phone and ignoring the attractive girl sitting next to him. I didn't get the connection.
JOE: I guess it was a bit of a stretch. I was thinking about our need for immediate communication which I think detracts from our thinking about what are communicating and to whom.
CALLIOPE: I see. Do you think the almost immediate availability of information through machines such as an e-book reader or cell phone a bad thing?
JOE: Not necessarily. Other than getting used to the new technology, I am concerned that being in such easy touch with data makes it more difficult for us to think about it in any sort of context.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: It is as if we are part of the machinery conveying data bits but not evaluating what we are saying.
CALLIOPE: What would you suggest?
JOE: I'm not sure I have anything to offer right now. It's just a concern I have.
CALLIOPE: What do you plan to do personally?
JOE: Make sure I have time to digest information by stepping back from the data stream and reflecting on information as it comes in and relating it to what I already know or suspect.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a good plan.
JOE: It's the only one I have at the moment. Talk with you tomorrow.


By Lori Ann Santini
Feb 5, 2009, 10:44am

     Unfortunately as I read any paper or magazine editorial lately I am seeing a common thread. When you break it down to the lowest common denominator it equals  fear.  

    I have empathy for the employees in the area that are losing or have lost their jobs. I too am facing that situation. At first I was angry. Angry at those that I worked for, at the people that I felt started the problem and then finally at myself. I could not imagine how people could decide that a service was no longer needed or that it wasn't good enough. Then I thought about how this could ultimately take away my American dream. I cried like I have never cried before. How could I have foolishly not prepared for this? Everyone else that is facing unemployment is going through the same thoughts. It is a terrifying time. I have never "lost" my job before. I don't like it. Although it appears that some of the employees associated with South Beach have experienced this "loss" before, it doesn't make it any easier fo them either. We fear.

     The economy has tumbled. I don't need to describe what has happened to any of you. Even my children have a grasp of the problem now. My husband and I have sat down with them. We have been honest about the things that they might understand. Mom and Dad won't be able to buy this or that at the store unless we really need it. That does not mean that they will suffer. Valentine's Day will bring them cute trinkets and candy. It does mean that they won't always get a book or a toy when we leave a store. They  will learn to appreciate what they have and work for what they don't.

     I have told my oldest daughter that she must make decisions on what is more important to purchase. Does she really need the 30th notepad that she will use for a week and then lose interest in? Would it be wiser to think about  saving it to buy a friend a birthday gift later? She has been told that we will contribute 50% of the cost of a gift. She must pay for the rest. It has taught her to be more fiscally responsible.

     Straw poll time. I know how you all like them. Raise your hand if you watched your retirement account dwindle. The funny part is I don't remember spending it. Do you? My parents and yours are depending on that money to be able to live.  They aren't looking for filet mignon or caviar. They will appreciate chicken breast and vegetables. Their nest eggs are gone. They don't have the luxury of time to recoup  the losses. 

     I haven't spoken to a person that is not apprehensive about the economic stimulus package. The first stimulus package did very little to boost the economy in my opinion . This one makes the first look like the president was playing with monopoly money. How will we ever pay it back? Who are we actually borrowing it from? Look at your children, nephews and nieces or the grandchild who lives down the road to find that answer. Will it even make a difference? President Obama will either go down as a hero or a zero.

      Times are going to be tough for all of us. It doesn't matter what your age is. The kids looking for summer employment are going to have a tougher time finding work. The people my age will be worried about providing for their kids. The seniors are concerned about buying their medications and staying warm. The small business owner will have to make tough choices. Belts can only be tightened so far. 

     As I write this, I am listening to the backround noises in the house. My kids are playing with a friends' daughter. Her mom and I have made a pact. If I am not working I will watch her daughter. In return I get to torture her with my two smaller ones if she isn't working. We save a lot of money doing this. One might think that we are crazy taking on more duties but I look at it differently. My kids are playing upstairs while  I am downstairs. There is playful happy noise. Everyone is happy.

     Plant a garden this year. A few extra plants dedicated to giving away the produce won't take any longer to care for. Share the bounty with the neighbors. Years ago when I had chickens  I used to bring fresh eggs to my neighbors. In return one neighbor Charlie would supply us with raspberries and pie. How could we go wrong? You will be  teaching your children a valuable lesson. They will learn the joy of a job well done by helping others. Sharing is a valuable commodity in these times. 

     Instead of going on an expensive trip far away, look to the area around you. Go to the county park. Get a membership to Godfrey's Pond.  You can do everything there from fishing to walking the trails to looking at exotic birds or feed the fish in the hatchery. Ride bikes or just walk to the neighbors house.  Camp in the backyard under a midnight sky filled with glittering stars. Throw snowballs in the winter and chase fireflies in the summer. The ideas are endless. The internet can provide a list of daytrips for you.

     By helping each other, we help ourselves. We will get through this tough time. You  will enjoy the more simple things in life. Cherish the moments and experiences as they happen. The fear will be overcome. Life will continue and the smiles will return.


Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

By Joseph Langen
Aug 22, 2008, 9:03am


(Clown graduation)
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JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you this morning?
JOE: Busy as usual. Moving is in full swing, or at least preparation for it.
CALLIOPE: What did you work on yesterday?
JOE: Notifying everyone who needs to know about my move.
CALLIOPE: How did that go?
JOE: Many places seem to have gone to automated interaction. I find it most frustrating to deal with automatons and would prefer actual people.
CALLIOPE: Technology isn't quite up to snuff in this area?
JOE: Not as far as I'm concerned. The most frustrating was Social Security which wanted to know my favorite vacation spot which it insisted I have them before. After trying the Caribbean and Hawaii, I had only one more chance before I was in danger of not being able to communicate with them at all.
CALLIOPE: How did you handle it?
JOE: Logged off and finally found a live person to take action. After some frustration, I found a few people who handled my request very quickly and efficiently.
CALLIOPE: So there was a happy ending?
JOE: I'm not quite done yet and have a few people on my list for today.
CALLIOPE: The rest of the day is for packing?
JOE: It is. I'll talk with you tomorrow.

Conversations with Calliope- Dialogue with My Muse

By Joseph Langen
Aug 13, 2008, 8:28am


(Tumblers- New Orleans)
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document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
//--> JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. The sun's out and it's warming up.
CALLIOPE: Enjoy it. You mentioned working on a new column a couple days ago. How is that coming?
JOE: Done. I wrote it about Russ's eightieth birthday party and how I wish everyone in the world could get along the way people did at his party.
CALLIOPE: That would be nice. Do you think it's possible?
JOE: Possible- yes. Likely- realistically I'm not so sure. It seems people have been at each other's throats since Cain and Abel. We don't seem to have the patience as humans to cooperate with each other.
CALLIOPE: Humans don't seem to get it.
JOE: I can't argue with you there. It seems like we can get along for a while, at least some of us can. Then we dissolve into conflict. Having our own way seems to trump living with each other in peace.
CALLIOPE: So what's the answer?
JOE: I wish I knew. I have been searching for it as long as I have been writing. There probably isn't one answer or someone would have discovered it by now. The answer doesn't seem to lie in logic, emotion or belief. I don't know what's left.
CALLIOPE: How about the arts?
JOE: Maybe there's a better chance there. But the arts sometimes express and even incite conflict.
CALLIOPE: I can't argue with you there.
JOE: Maybe peace is the ultimate challenge for humans and it will only result from our combined efforts on all fronts. We shall see. Talk with you tomorrow.

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