Polaris Toastmasters: Down with the Sickness

Wrap yourself in a warm blanket; warm up some of that good, old-fashioned, Grandma Hofflemeyer’s “I’m Sick as a Dog” Chicken Noodle Soup; and spend the whole day watching re-runs of “CSI” (making sure not to tell anyone you secretly watched “The View”). It’s…


This is how Joe looked most of last week. Except much fatter. And with a messier bedroom.

Hi. How are you? I’ve been sick as a dog.

It started a week and a half ago when my oldest son, Eliott – who spends most of his free time running in circles, attempting to throw sharp objects at our television – said, “Hey Daddy … Watch this!” He sprinted toward me from the opposite end of the room at full speed until his foot caught the carpet and he fell forward, projectile vomitting all over me in the process. It was messy …  Really REALLY messy. And that’s when the sickness hit our household fast a thick, like a roller coaster made of mayonnaise.

Eliott and I went down that weekend, but cleared up Sunday night (just in time to watch the good folks on “The Amazing Race” eat large amounts of disgusting-looking food). Then, on the way home on Monday, my youngest son, Micaiah, yakked all over himself …and the car seat … and the back seat … and Eliott, who laughed and started throwing things at his brother and everyone else (throwing things is how we know Eliott is feeling better).

I got to clean up everything, including the car seat (…To answer your question: Yes, you need a PHD to take apart a child’s car seat. I don’t have a PHD, so I achieved this goal by tossing the car seat across the front lawn, screaming obscenities at it. Thankfully, the neighbors we don’t like were outside when this happened, so we don’t have to worry about interacting with them anytime soon). Micaiah and I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday sitting on the couch, watching reruns of The View CSI, trying not to make too much mess. I made it back to work on Thursday. Then Jen (her first round of sickness) and Eliott (his second) got sick on Friday, followed shortly by Micaiah and then me again.

That’s how I spent my weekend. Fun times. I’m sure you needed to know all that, which is why I shared it. I like to keep you up-to-date on Shaw family vomituous expectorations. That’s how I roll.


If you missed last week, it was probably because you were sick, and you were probably sick because you were around me. Sorry about that. If you were there, I’m sure you had a good time. Here’s what happened …

I gave a speech about a friend of mine who accidentally locked himself on his roof while he was half-naked and covered in paint. Lameka gave a speech about adopting kids (Lameka’s was better, because half-naked people on roofs covered in paint are just silly). Kalyan ran table topics. He had a lot of interesting questions, and we learned a lot.

We had a lot of guests this week and we got a few new members Welcome, new Toastpeople! If you have any questions, please let me know. I’ll do my best to confuse you further.


Kalyan Illipilla is the Toastmaster this week. We still need two evaluators, a General Evaluator, and a timer. Go to the website http://polaris.toastmastersclubs.org and log in as a member to sign up for something.

If you’re new (or not so new) and you run into problems with the website, let Crystal Dong know and she’ll help you out.


Shirley “The Godfather” McPherson and Steve “Nasty” Nasdeo finished in second place in their respective contests this past weekend. Shirley finished second in the Division Humorous Speech contest and Steve finished second in the Division Table Topics contest. This is an amazing accomplishment! Everybody tell Shirley and Steve how awesome they are. I don’t know what kind of Kudos Steve likes to see, but you can express your joy to Shirley by e-mailing her a poorly drawn picture of a purple cow. Here is mine:

in Cow-ese, “mu” means “Congratulations on your continued success, citizen. Good luck with your future endeavors.” It can also mean “I’m hungry. Please give me more grass to eat.” Cow-ese is a difficult language to master.


  1. The District 40 Fall Conference is next weekend, November 2-4. Everybody sign up today! I’d sign up myself, but I’m having surgery on my eyeball on November 2 and hospitals have rules about not doing anything strenuous immediately after surgery. Stupid doctors. What do they know?!
  2. The end of the year approaches. Agendas on the website are up-to-date through December 13. If you’d like to do a speech (or if you’re excited about being a Timer or something, which is a great way to get started if you’re new) go sign up today.
  3. We’re not planning to have meetings on 12/20 or 12/27, but we might schedule something small for those who will be around (and who are interested), please let me know if you’re interested.
  4. The new year will start up again on Jan 3. We’re looking to have the Evaluation Contest on Jan 13 and the International Speech contest on January 31. If you’re interested in competing in or running either contest, let me, Crystal or Yingbi know. Contestants in the International Speech contest must have given at least six speeches. If you’d like to compete in this contest and you’re short on the number of speeches, let us know ahead of time and we’ll see about getting you up to speed. Everyone can compete in the evaluation contest.
  5. The Election™ is just over two weeks away. That means no more political commercials. HALELUJAH!

Stay safe everyone. Don’t break anything.

Joe Shaw
Polaris Toastmasters president, Chief Cook and Part-Time Bottle-Washer

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