Toastmasters – Club Leadership Training

Having undertaken to be a club officer in 2 clubs, I need to do some training.  To get points for the Distinguished Club Programme for the clubs, I will have to do training in both Wellington and Christchurch.

Last night was in Christchurch.  The training took place in a baptist church a long way from my normal haunts in the CBD.  There were more than 80 attendees after more than 70 had attended on Saturday.

The MC, Shen, and other speakers/facilitators were articulate as expected and it all ran to time.

First was a workshop with other VP Memberships (my officer role at Avon).  we discussed how to encourage new members and meetup seemed to be a popular advertising choice, but local newspapers and neighbourly seemed to be worth trying too.  At least one club had the problem of not wanting to encourage new members because of lack of space, or time.

Other workshops I attended covered marketing, making meetings moe exciting and using the CL manual.  There was a joint session on DCP (Distinguished Club Programme) and Rob gave a talk about the region G newsletter which he is going to be editor for.

Supper was good (although the only hiccup of the night meant that it was not quite ready on time).  It was good to meet so many toastmasters.

Things I need to do:

  1. Update the new member sheet for Avon club
  2. Think about membership activities to try with VP promotions for Avon
  3. Find a replacement for Avon.

I also got some ideas for Midcity,  particularly about getting a calendar together and getting people to work on their CL manuals.

next IBM cert

The next certification I plan to do (before the end of August) is the IBM cloud architect exam.  I have a free voucher for the exam.

This is partly general cloud knowledge but to make it harder it needs quite detailed knowledge of the IBM cloud management products and the IBM CCMP-RA (Cloud Computing Management Platform –  Reference Architecture).

So I shall be looking at TSAM, TUAM, ISDM and Cloudburst even though I don’t think I will ever use them in anger.

Brexit ramifications

2 July:

Everybody seems to have an opinion what Brexit will mean.  It seems there is a lot of variations that could play out, but it is hard to imagine that England and Wales will still be in the EU in 3 years time.

The financial markets have followed the script almost exactly so far.

  • Because the result was unexpected a lot of people dumped shares on the basis that it is best to panic first.
  • Then shares started to look cheap and the bargain hunters piled in and the prices rose again, almost back to what they were.
  • Next week the bargain hunters will stay away and the late panicers will start selling and shares will gradually decline ( I would be selling now if I owned UK shares).
  • The pound is staying lower because the market is assuming an interest rate drop in London.

I am not an investment analyst and I don’t take any responsibility for others decisions, but I have seen it before.


UPDATE 27 July:

It looks like I have misjudged the investment sentiment.  Brexit will clearly be bad for British business and they are in for some bad economic times over the medium term.  They will be exacerbated by continuing austerity measures.  So long term the UK sharemarket will decline.

I think the drop in value of the pound has made UK shares look cheaper which might explain the continuing strength.

An old piece of programming which may be useful to some

This is a java program that used to display gnome and KDE menus on Linux desktops.  It was designed to be useful with very lightweight windows managers like icewm, which didn’t have menus by default.  It could be useful with unity with the right environment variables set.

If you find this and think it might be useful send me a message.


I actually wrote it to understand  It is not great java.

Go activity

With the invitation to go to the Korean tournament this year, it is time to resurrect my interest in go.  I don’t expect to get back to my best, but I need to make a decent account of myself.

So I will take part in the Australia-New Zealand online tournament starting this week.

My first game is tonight against TriDat Tran from Australia.

UPDATE: In spite of being rusty I managed a win.  A new opponent will be assigned tomorrow (Sunday 3 July).

Building a new server

This blog is to capture some of the challenges in building a new home server.  The server is to act as the DMZ and firewalls for the home network.  I have a cable modem with a fixed IP (IP4) address that the new server plugs into.  All my home computing equipment, computers, WIFI router, network printer etc plug into a network switch at the back.

The server acts as

  • Firewall external and internal
  • DNS server (it was to serve as authority for my domains but Vodafone seems to block UDP DNS queries from outside it’s network)
  • Router
  • LAMP stack (Apache2 plus MySQL plus PHP/Perl running on Linux)
  • Email server (SMTP + POP3/IMAP)

Getting these set up is not so difficult but I decided to try using ISPConfig3 to manage them.  ISPConfig This is a tool that makes it look like you are running an ISP and you can easily provision web sites, and email accounts.  It has some functionality that I don’t need and some features don’t quite work as intended, but in general it makes it easier to manage everything for multiple users.

I also installed wordpress for this blog and for all the users.  The ungrateful people aren’t rushing to create content.


Toastmasters is a system to help learn public speaking.

I have been going to 2 groups as I split my time between Wellington and Christchurch

In Wellington I go to Mid City group on Thursdays

In Christchurch I go to Avon group on Tuesdays

and I have also been to a group in Petone which meets once a month on Friday

I think I have become more confident in general and better able to construct and deliver a speech/presentation that people want to listen to.