//How Exploring Abandoned Railroad Tunnels Changed My Life Forever

How Exploring Abandoned Railroad Tunnels Changed My Life Forever

Meeting for the week of April 22- April 28, 2019

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: How Exploring Abandoned Railroad Tunnels Changed My Life Forever

Speaker: Brian Liddicoat

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you. Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President-Elect Tzviatko:

Greetings Rotarians and Guests,

I hope you all had a great week. I spent most of it exploring the Garden Route (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_Route) on the south-eastern coast of South Africa. Amazing to see such beautiful nature, relax in tranquil little towns, and enjoy tasty food along the way.
This week we have one of our own – Brian Liddicoat – who will be telling us about his passion for old trains. I can’t wait to hear more about it. Please share a little about a passion you have in the comments below.


President-Elect, Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Guests, we are happy to have you join us this week!

As we see it, our flexibility as an online, asynchronous club allows a special type of service to Rotarians around the world: we make it easier for anyone to strive for and maintain 100% attendance. That keeps you engaged with Rotary’s events and ideas, and provides a moment of inspiration for devoting your creativity, talents, and resources to good causes.

You are certainly not required to pay anything in order to attend our meetings. However, if you would like to make a small contribution to our service efforts, you are welcome to do so in our secure Happy Dollars section down the page. This could be what you normally pay at your own club’s meetings for lunch, for example. Any amount is welcome, but first and foremost, we’re happy you’ve joined us, and hope you will share with others who we are and what we do to help inspire Service Above Self.

And don’t forget to fill out our attendance form so you get an email you can pass on to your club’s secretary!

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

Happy Earth Day! April 22 marks the day to celebrate our planet and to raise support for environmental protection. Here are some jokes to plant some laughs in your week!

What did the tree wear to the pool party?
Swimming trunks!

What’s the difference between weather and climate?
Lift your glass and talk about the wonderful things it has done!

Why are recycle bins so optimistic?
Because they’re full of cans!

Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

Ofori Charles Antipem wears many hats—he’s an inventor, an entrepreneur and an advocate of STEM. Now, he’s bringing all his passions together, dedicating his life to bringing affordable science education to kids across Africa. The Science Set is Antipem’s creation, developed to give students access to a unique toolkit. Each set contains 45 scientific components and costs just $20. His next invention? Cheap and easy-to-assemble microscopes, carefully designed and built using 3D printed materials.

How Small Science Is Creating Big Possibilities in Africa

World of

Rotary changed the way I see the world

Learn more at https://blog.rotary.org/2019/03/26/rotary-changed-the-way-i-see-the-world/

Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. Back by popular demand, Keith Marsh’s photography will feature in this new section, curated by member Keith Marsh himself!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

We are now a month into Spring and have experienced a very wet winter season in California. One of the benefits is a prolific wildflower bloom. The Poppy is the California state flower and can be seen in abundance at the Antelope Poppy Reserve near Lancaster.

Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Rory from Houston, TX, USA reporting on a chat with Roger from Kamloops, BC, Canada.

Despite lots of thrills, chills and excitement, Roger and I had a chance to talk today.
First, about fifteen minutes before we were to start, I tried to log in on Zoom.us. I don’y know what went wrong, but I wasn’t able to get one board. Finally, I gave up and asked Roger to try it. He succeeded where I failed.
Then we finally talked to each other for better than thirty minutes. Roger and I, both being trained in the law are quite able to hold our own in conversations, so we discussed world events; changes in the Canadian legal system; his daughter’s employment situation; and the age old question about the cleavage, if any, between prosecutors and elected officials.
As is usual, my cat, Jazzmine, graced us with her presence.
I had a good time and strongly suggest that all of our members engage in doing the monthly CWRs, which are a highlight of belonging to our club.

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!

For Members Only

February 2019 Club Announcements

  • “Hi! Do you have any questions about the club?” – The New Facebook Chatbot on Main Pages. If you have visited any of our non-meeting pages in the past few days, you’ll notice that we now have a Facebook Chatbot active on our site. This is one of our new initiatives to try to convert more prospective leads into members, as well as to increase interaction between guests and our club. Messages will be responded to by our social media team. Please note this messenger chat isn’t designed for club members. Members, if you still want to contact someone, please direct your notices to the email of the member or the officer you want to reach.
  • 2019 Homepage Refresh! After hearing feedback from members, the webmasters can now say that we have finally gotten around to updating the main hero image on the homepage into something that we believe better represents the global and the digital nature of our club. We’ll be periodically changing the graphic throughout the year, as we continue to refresh different parts of our site.
  • Join page updated! The webmaster team has done a much-needed facelift for the Join page. The start of a new year is the perfect time to share with friends and colleagues our Join page!
  • Weekly Meeting Disqus Reactions Updated. Did you know you can leave a reaction for each of our weekly meetings now? Right above the comments for a weekly meeting, you’ll now find four different reactions you can vote for. We’ve also added some comment policy, and are working on fine-tuning a few other pieces to the comments and the meetings.
  • New year, new posts! eClub Rotarians – haven’t joined the conversation on Facebook yet? Consider joining the conversation by signing into our club members-only Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/rotarysiliconvalley/

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members-only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

eClub vs. Cancer!

Our club annually gets together to support the fight against cancer, and our 2019 effort starts this week – we would like every member of this club to get involved! You can walk as part of our group at the Santa Clara Relay for Life on April 27th, donate to help fund medical research, or honor a friend or family member battling cancer.

It’s that time! This Saturday is Relay for Life in Santa Clara, the community’s big fundraiser to fight cancer.

image credit: Pocketwatch by Adrian Clark from Flickr (CC by-nd 2.0) 

We’ve had over half the club join in the fight in one way or another, and it’s time to give a big shout-out to Ferheen, Heather, Maxi, Yvonne, Brian, Celine, Tzviatko, Andrew, Monique, Rory, Rushton, Shags, Brett, Ange, Suzanne, Nate, Keith, Sandy, Linda, Vandana, and Catherine for their help. If you’ve done something and your name isn’t on that list, please let Rushton know ([email protected]).

There is STILL time for you to get involved, as we’re hoping every member will contribute through time, money, and/or message. Check your last email from Rushton to choose the way that’s best for you, or simply donate at: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/rushton

We hope to see you at Relay!




Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
Weather is great!

Monique Ziesenhenne made a $20 donation.
Club General Fund! Able to visit Palm Springs this week, just for a day, but still a nice warm day!

Share your happy dollars thoughts with us and help with doing good around the world.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Rushton Hurley said:
Andrew, great segue. Cool video about Mongolian throat singing, and great comments carried over from last week. Johann, thank you again for the presentation and for speaking to my students last week – you truly have the heart of a Rotarian!

Heather Shaw said:
Johann. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that nature has it right without all the high tech methods and equipment Loved the throat singers too!

Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne said:
Johann, what a fascinating presentation. Thank you for sharing with us. This is a very important topic and I’m happy that you are being so successful.

Tzviatko Chiderov said:
Johann, I really enjoyed learning about your work. And it was so great to meet you in person in Zimbabwe a few weeks ago!


Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: How Exploring Abandoned Railroad Tunnels Changed My Life Forever

Speaker: Brian Liddicoat

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

Brian Liddicoat is a member of our club. He is a trial lawyer (what the English would call a “barrister”) who lives in in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children. Brian has a law degree and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.

He is also an explorer.

Although the blank spaces on our maps have been all filled in, there’s still plenty of room for discovery and adventure right in our own backyards. Today, Brian will explain how he decided to explore a local mountain railroad spur on a Sunday afternoon and walked into the world of “urban archaeology,” where amateur sleuths use the internet and old-fashioned research and exploration to learn more about the history of our everyday local world. Your weekend drive may never be the same.

Members and guests, please welcome Brian Liddicoat!

Brian Liddicoat – How Exploring Abandoned Railroad Tunnels Changed My Life Forever

Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to [email protected]

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.

2019-04-21T14:12:50+00:00April 22nd, 2019|0 Comments