The Flywheel

Next meeting: March 23rd
NOTE: Meeting is not at MVCC. See below.

The Two Main Denominatons of Islam

Mehnoosh Ashkari a banker of Persian descent provides a personal, ‘modernist’ description of the two primary denominations of Islam.

Note that our meeting will be held at the Richmond Country Club. Directions.


Meeting of Friday, March 16th

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

On a day when the Bay Area was trying to make up for all the rain we did not have this Winter, Incoming Prez Jim Young took the podium, mike and rang the bell to welcome all!  David Keystone was kind enough to lead us in the Pledge. Stoney Stonework asked for a moment of silent prayer for peace, freedom and justice.  Mr. Sunshine Henry Kelman bemoaned that he was tired of the rain.

Rotarians with Guests

Jim Young had as his guest wife Linda.

Sunshine Report

Despite the title of this report, no news is good news.


  • Richmond Rockets had their first playoff game on Friday March 16.  We know now, that this great, all-hustle team failed to prevail.
  • BARSHEEP St. Patrick’s Day is now a thing of the past. Hope the green beer was cold!
  • Playland-Not-At-The-Beach is happening on lucky Friday April 13th. What a great way to waste an afternoon.
  • BARSHEEP Club members are invited to a monthly Happy Hour on the last Friday of the month at La Revolucion in the Hilltop area.
  • NIAD Work Party  on April 21.  Handyman Mark Howe is coordinating what is to be primarily a paint party.
  • Under the leadership of David “Thanks for Volunteering” Keystone, the Richmond Rotary Bocce Ball Team will be ready, willing and able to compete  at the June 16th Tournament in Martinez (details). I am sure David could use more players.
  • You're invited to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Rotary Club of Walnut Creek. Catered dinner, vintage automobiles, and a bluegrass band. Saturday, April 14th, 5:30 PM. Download flyer for details.


Using his Presidential Privilege Jim Young pointed out that David Keystone’s picture looked a lot like George Clooney…so of course Jim “fined” David for looking so good! Is this what we are in for next year?
Not to be outdone Your Scribe “fined” Jim for not realizing that Darlene Almeida was already a card carrying member of our Rotary Club.  All is fair in love and Rotary!
Norm Lundberg celebrated a birthday on March 12 and will be sending a check to our Treasurer. Sweet Henry Kelman celebrated his 27th wedding anniversary with us.

Happy and Sad Dollars

Bob Dabney was happy to throw what was left in his wallet into the pot because he just came back from 12 days in the South Seas swimming with various marine life; Herb Cole was happy to be back after caring for 4 grandchildren ages 4-12 who ran circles around him and the gout he suffered on his trip; David Brown was happy to give us his Spring Training scouting report and if he is correct the Giants will be in for a great year; Alan Blavins gave some dollars but Your Scribe could not read his own handwriting; and Your Scribe was happy he will be celebrating his mom’s 90th birthday with her in Vegas-baby!

Norm's Nonsense

An old woman is sitting in a rocking chair on her porch, petting her cat, Puff. A fairy appears and says, "I'm here to give you three wishes."

The old woman says, "I wish I were 21 years old and beautiful again."
Poof! She is.

"Now I wish I had a million dollars and this old house were a mansion." Poof! Done.

"And now, I wish that Puff were the handsomest man in the world and deeply in love with me."

Poof! Suddenly she's in the arms of the handsomest man in the world. He kisses her and says, "Darling, aren't you sorry you had me fixed?"



The Shi'a and Sunni Denominations of Islam

Jim Young introduced our speaker Mehnoosh Askari who was born and raised in Iran. She moved to America in 1995 and learned to speak English after attending Adult School for 8 months. She and her husband have 2 daughters. She received an AA degree in accounting and a BA for the University of Phoenix and works for Wells Fargo Bank.

Ms. Askari's topic for the day was a description of the two primary denominations of Islam the Sunni and Shia Muslims. The differences between these two main sub-groups within Islam initially stemmed not from spiritual differences, but political ones. The division between Shia and Sunni dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and the question of who was to take over the leadership of the Muslim nation. The Shia Muslims believed that following the Prophet Muhammad's death, leadership should have passed directly to his cousin/son-in-law, Ali. The Sunnis chose as their leader the Prophet Muhammad's close friend and advisor, Abu Bakr.

Both groups share the same beliefs with the Shia being more peaceful. Mehnoosh indicated that much of the Muslim traditions like wearing of a hijab is more about tradition and politics since the requirement is cannot be found in the Koran. When asked which religion is the best, Mehnoosh’s response was that all religions are about helping and kindness and the “rest is just politics.”

- The Menehune, Rotating Scribe