The Flywheel

Next Meeting: Friday, February 4  
NOTE: Not at the Mira Vista Country Club

Chevron Lunch & Tour

Chevon Refinery Richmond

It's big, it's complex, and it's a critical part of the regional economy: yet few of us have much of an understanding of how the Chevron Refinery does what it does. Fewer still have been inside it.

This special luncheon and tour of the Refinery will give Rotarians an opportunity to learn more about Chevron operations and the people who maintain them.

You must have pre-registered to attend, using the link in the left column. Remember that if you've signed up for the tour & luncheon you must bring a photo ID to be admitted to the facility. Look for emails from Jim Young with details.


Meeting of January 28, 2011

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Stoney led us in the invocation today.  “Peace and Freedom in the Universe” he said.   

Rotarians with Guests

  • Mac Lingo from the Berkeley Club was visiting today.
  • Michael Gill’s guest today was Julie Boyer the chief of IT at Transcept Pharma.

Sunshine Report

John Niccol was not feeling well and did not make it to the club today. 


  • This Friday we will have a Chevron Refinery tour instead of our regular lunch.  See Next Meeting details, above.
  • Playland clownFun-seeking members of the I-80 Rotary clubs (aka "BARSHEEP") are invited to Playland-Not-At-The-Beach Museum of Fun, on Thursday, February 10, 2011. Admission of $20 includes wine, beer, cheese and other snacks, and of course, socializing with members of these other clubs. Another good reason— play the historic pin-ball and arcade games, included in price of admission. See the flyer for more details
  • Herb Cole told us about an upcoming show on TV about Rotary.  It was 5:30 last Friday.
  • The Crab Feed. Please use the button in the left column to purchase tickets, which makes David Brown’s job easier. The Crab feed will be held in Salesian cafeteria like last year.  Hank says that if you want Budweiser, Coors, or Pabst Blue Ribbon you need to bring you own – only quality beers will be served at the Richmond Rotary Crab Feed.  
  • Nick Despota  and Monique le Conge told us about the Library Foundation’s efforts to raise $100,000 for a new Book Van. To date, 16 Rotarians have donated to the campaign, for a total of $2,650.
  • Erle Brown gave Dan Sanders his Paul Harris +2 today.  Evanston will be happy.
  • Erle Brown also gave Tom Waller his first Paul Harris.

Happy and Sad Dollars & Recognitions:

  • Stoney told a funny joke about a man who finds out he only has 12 hours to live. He makes love to his wife twice. When he asks to do it one more time, she says “Hey, I gotta get up in the morning.”  (Guess you had to be there.)
  • Beav got a donation out of David Brown and informed him that it was now time for a colonoscopy.
  • Paul Allen celebrated a new band that he established at his children’s school.

Norm’s Nonsense
More ponderisms ...
 - Why do you park in the driveway and drive on the parkway?
 - If you shoot a mime, should you use a silencer?
 - What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?
  They both have the same middle name.

PROGRAM of January 28


Cyber-security: How safe are you?

Rand Miramota an Computer and Internet Security consultant to the Clinton and Obama administrations spoke to us today about how to protect yourself in the new connected world.  While working with the Clinton Whitehouse he wrote a book titled “ Convergent Computing” and focused on the Y2K problem. 

Hackers are just one of the many threats that we need to be aware of today.  They can steal data, delete data, and turn your computer into a zombie that obeys their commands. Hackers are usually teenagers and usually are not too big a worry.  But things are changing and hackers are getting more professional.  North Korea is training people and giving them degrees in hacking.  These folks have modified software from the Nordic Bank that allowed them to steal small amounts of money over a long period of time.  They have manipulated stock prices on the NYSE and traded on the information.  They have stolen credit card numbers in the parking lot of building improvement stores for personal gain.

This type of criminal can conveniently work from home and even conduct crimes from foreign countries.

But today the real threat to companies is not from the outside but from the inside from disgruntled employees.  For this type of problem you will need professional help.

Other issues computer and internet security issues include:

  • Facebook portals
  • Thumbdrive infections
  • Losing you portable computer in the airport
  • Unprotected data on you portable

There are websites that can help you navigate this jungle.  Two of them are: and

- Rotating Editor, Mark Howe