The President's Message


George Lakes

Our profound thanks, to Jim Thornton who did a wonderful job as coordinator of our July garage sale, which was a huge success. As one of our sellers said, he viewed it as a SERVICE to our members and their friends. It benefited sellers, buyers and the club as well. We did have a few members who donated items to the club’s table plus we sold some of the excess club equipment. A couple of members sold their own items at their own tables and donated the entire proceeds to the club. We extend our thanks to them.

Jim sent out a questionnaire to the sellers asking for suggestions as to how to improve the garage sale. All of this took a lot of his time and the follow up is an excellent idea. It will allow the club to improve implementation and the results in future garage sales. I, for one, have been very satisfied with the way this one was conducted.

Many were surprised and/or confused by the raffle tickets being offered at a $1.00 a piece or six for $5.00 at the July meeting. We will continue to do this at each meeting in the future, in addition to any door prizes a vendor may donate. The vendor supply of donated software has been drying up for some time. We are now in the process of purchasing software and other suitable computer related products for the raffle. We hope the incentive of winning more and better door prizes will encourage a better attendance. If we have a good turn out and move a lot of tickets, we will be able to pay for our door prizes and in addition, put a little money in the treasury.

The club’s foremost goal at this time, is to save money for a new high resolution, high lumen output overhead projector. The system we currently have does not project well enough on the screen for people to see unless the room is totally dark and we are more likely to fall asleep instead. At the last SIG, it started scrolling and wouldn’t stop, so it is telling us it is sick and must go to a computer hospital for repairs. Therefore, there is a lot of incentive to find as many ways as possible to make money. So, please consider that your ticket donation goes to a good cause, with a chance to win a door prize.

In the future, we will attempt to list the door prizes in the TOE and on our web page prior to the next monthly meeting. We would like to have one or more volunteers who would be willing to come in early and sell the raffle tickets. Our past vice president, Nita Lang has volunteered to become the chairperson of the raffle committee.

We thank members who responded to another fund raiser by bringing in their used ink cartridges (a total of 42) which will be sent to Russ Kalvin, Inkjet Cartridges, Computer Business Works, Inc. He has offered $2.00 for each used cartridge that we package and mail to him plus postage. Please continue bringing them to the next meeting you attend.

We are waiting to hear from APCUG as to a confirmed shipping date for the CDs we ordered from them and are selling for $5.00. This is another fundraiser as well as a benefit to club members. Also, see separate article about COMDEX and APCUG elsewhere in this newsletter.

In keeping with trying to add to the treasury, there is a break-even factor in club membership using the club’s ISP. We are a few dollars positive to the break-even point at this time. That means we have barely enough subscribers to pay the monthly bill. We do encourage those people who are considering changing, to give CIPCUG a try. Some of the benefits besides adding to the club’s treasury are, it is economical, unlimited access without being dropped off, connect at a faster speed and you don’t have to deal with advertising. Tech support will also go to your house and help you get set up, free of charge, if you are unable to do it yourself. Any additional subscribers at this point in time, will add a few dollars every month to the treasury. Those in need, lets go for it!

When Arline and I (member numbers 137 & 138) joined the club, it was quite small. Everyone knew one another and volunteered when needed, knowing if they didn’t, there was no one else. Today, with a membership of more than 360, we are having difficulty in finding volunteers. It is easy to think that someone else will and I won’t have to. As an example, when requesting help for hauling equipment, the only response was from a woman who recently joined. Where are all the men?

We are still looking for a volunteer to take over the membership from John Godwin. John has done an excellent job and now he needs to pass the baton. Paddy Ruzella has done a great job as coordinator for the club’s booth at the monthly computer shows held in Oxnard and Ventura and she also needs someone to replace her. Gracia still needs someone to help her with advertising. Please let us know if you can help by replacing either John or Paddy or assisting Gracia. They really need you!

Possibly a reason the members are not volunteering is they haven’t taken the time to get to know each other and are reluctant to get involved with strangers. Friends feel more comfortable offering help to friends rather than those they don’t know. How about making that effort to get to know at least one or two club members each month. This is one of the reasons for the coffee break. It provides an opportunity to get to know each other better and may possibly help solve some of our club’s problems. Try it. You may like it!

It has been suggested we change the percentage necessary to vote on anything that affects the general membership. Our bi-laws currently state it must be 33%. The officers and the board of directors have suggested we change the quorum size to 20%. The board is in agreement this should be done. The original recommendation was made by past newsletter editor and publisher and past vice president, Bob de Violini. Our Vice President Craig Ladd will bring up the change in the bi-laws at the August meeting, prior to voting on this change at the September meeting. We will have a write up of the change appear in the newsletter as well as on the web page in the form of a ballot so that people who cannot attend the September meeting, can vote on the proposed changes.

We are grateful to the unselfish, hardworking volunteers in this club. Our SIG coordinator, Ralph Duchacek had triple bi-pass surgery on Thursday, July 6th. Since I have been there and done that, I know it takes some time to recover. I am sure you will join me in wishing him a speedy one. His email address is: . Ralph’s wife notified us on Friday that he is doing well and hopes to come home, Sunday, the 9th.

Filling in for him, will be Helen Long, our Web Mistress. Helen also can be found at the guest table and she is filling in for our secretary Laura Pacheco, by doing the minutes of the July general meeting, Q&A and board meeting. David Minkin will be doing the printed labels for the TOE this month for Bill Norton. Last, but not least, our newly elected Vice President, Craig Ladd will be conducting the August meeting while Arline and I are on travel. Please give him a big welcome!