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cteno4

Wow JRM maybe at capital hill! - April Fools!

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cteno4

Wow just got a very strange and exciting call Friday afternoon and the follow up today. This year is the 100th anniversary for the cherry bloosims here. There are a bunch of fancy events apparently going on only for mucky mucks that usually don't happen. A few weeks back JRM displayed Japanese ttrak at a boy scout event locally that was a benefit for a Japanese troop that was heavily effected by the disaster an the Japanese ambassador to the US attended and saw the layout. He was very surprised to see japanese trains in the US and touched. Apparently he told some of the folks planning the extra fancy events about us and one of them decided to surprise the ambassador at what they called the "big" event of the centennial. She would not give details yet, but those should come Monday.

 

What did come out is that everyone would have to get a full secret service background check, that it could take up to 4 hours for our gear to be security cleared, formal attire, and no computers or cameras. This usually means only one place here and that's the white house or presidential visit!

 

At first I thought this was an elaborate joke by a friend but the caller Id on the second call was from the dc city cherry blossom contact we had when we talked with them a couple of years ago about doing some of the city events in addition to the Sakura matsuri (that's put on by the japanese America society), so I know it's too deep to be a joke now.

 

Security clearance can be an issue on fast notice. I got it to work on a bureau of engraving project and that was tough to get done under a week.some don't get throught it as well (we lost 1 person on the 5 of us that were on the team).

 

The big problem with this is that only 4 of us can attend this event. This is not going down well with the members as arron can attest to on the flurry of emails we have had on the JRM email list. This is really quite a vexing situation for us as a small club. Some of us want to just draw lots for this, but others are very adiment that it should be by seniority of membership or effort. Some think that spouses should be includeed. I'm about to the point of withdrawing all together as its really polarizing the group. It's not fun, but the chance to do something like this is up near going to the novels a couple of years ago. I would hat for this to seriously disrupt the group,as we are only 12 guys. Aaarrrgggg....

 

Has anyone gotten into a situation like this? Any advice?

 

Monday we will get the final details on the event but even if it's not the white house it's still a big enough event that the member limit is still going to cause issues.

 

Jeff

Edited by cteno4

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Hobby Dreamer

Jeff,

It might be fun to visit the WH and maybe meet someone of importance but they are quite correctly

mucky mucks
.

 

Ultimately, they may not really care - its a a sound bite to them; or some might feign interest because someone of import showed some interest.

 

It would be a shame to lose friends over this, but in truth it would not be fair to have a casual member win a lotto to attend. There are members who put more time in, who spend more or drive more to ensure all the other shows are successful. These are the ones who should attend. (If they want to)

 

And, don't let some mucker steal or keep anything! People in power do weird things! A lot of Canadian politicians shoplift! If it was here and I was going I'd get the RCMP to scan people on the way out!!!!

 

What would be really slick is if you asked for contributions for your sister club in Japan!!

 

Hope it all works out!

Rick

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bikkuri bahn

Why don't you compromise- have the club president, a member with his/her spouse, and one member drawn by lot?

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cteno4

Well officers are just something we try to rotate, so no real reason they probably should get preference here. Not all the members have spouses so we would need to probably make it just guest. One other issue is that it really tales 3 to 4 guys to set things up so guests could be an issue as well as discussing the layout etc.

 

No real concencus on what to do or even compromise on yet.

 

Rick I do agree it's a bunch of mucky mucks, but the spirit of it being a surprise for the ambassador and something to celebrate the cherry blossoms and us Japan relations it is an honor to help with this. Also just might help HSR here a little to have more exposure. And lastly I would think we could get some good plugs in for Omacha express in front of some important folks.

 

So I do see this as something worthwhile, but the potential price could an issue...

 

Jeff

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Guest JRF-1935

Jeff

  Its Great that JRM has this invite.  The founding members should go - with or without their spouses, to promote the Hobby and the relief effort.  Not often you get invited to the WH.  Maybe the Ambassador of Japan will invite the rest of us Club members and spouses to his house for Sushi and brewskis - that I would really enjoy! :-)

Rich C

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Bernard

Jeff - This is an great opportunity for the club....I wouldn't pass it up, because if you do you might not be invited again if the situation presents itself.

 

Now the toughest part, who gets to go.....it seems like the club is in a "Catch 22" situation, no matter what you do some members will be elated and some will be disappointed. Is part of the visit setting up the layout for the Japanese Ambassador to see? If so can you tell the WH that you need at least 6 people to help set up the layout?

As for spouses.....I would rather see 2 members go and my only reason is this....the club was invited to the WH because of layout the members of the club built. Spouses would be taking away 2 invitations from the membership. 

You could do a lottery like the NBA draft......members who have dedicated the most hours to the club get more tickets in the pot. Example: lets say the most active member gets 10 tickets to be put in the hat, whereas the least active member in the club only gets 2. (It's just one suggestion but it might not be the best solution since I really don't know the makeup of the JRM membership.)

 

The Club has been given a great honor, to refuse the invitation might leave the Japanese Ambassador in a state of dismay.

But to everyone at the JRM Club... congratulations!

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CaptOblivious

Ultimately, they may not really care - its a a sound bite to them; or some might feign interest because someone of import showed some interest.

 

I think this is really insightful, and worth remembering.

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Guest ___

The fact that I already have security clearances through both the DoD from my time at thee Washington Post (editor of the Waterline Newspaper, Washington Navy Yard) and my DHS clearance at the US Coast Guard make me an easy in, if not for the fact that I'm sort of unofficially being looked at as being up, in the higher echelons with a certain well publicized cracking group, complete with Guy Falkes masks and whatnot, would keep me out.

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cteno4

thanks bernard, yes catch 22 is the perfect description of the situation. there is no great answer and from the emails i woke up to this morning it appears what ever the outcome some will be very unhappy. it is a great honor and the potential for good is great in this for the club and omocha express so it seems to be a poison to deal with.

 

draft is a good idea, but then i fear it will bring up squabbling on who has worked what hours, etc. even politics has raised its head and we really try to steer clear of that in the club if we can help it as it can also really be an issue. we have a real variety of members, how they have come to us, what they have done, etc, so its really not a really cut and dried things to judge on. we have 5 or 6 members that were basically founding members so thats out for a clear choice. and then who will be judge that everyone trusts and thinks knows the whole situation. this is why im really just willing at this point to sit this out as much as it would be a blast to go.

 

one nasty issue we have as a club with this is something we never foresaw when we formed officially as a club with our rules of voting. we went like 3 years a just a group of guys until we had built up like $1000 worth of club owned stuff from the money we earned doing shows and at that point we decided we needed some sort of rules to govern the money aspects mainly. so we had our officers and basic club rules adapted from the model rr association club boiler plate. we have voting that can occur at scheduled meetings (our monthly lunches or annual meeting) if we have a quorum present (over 50% of current membership). we can also hold internet votes or special meetings but those require a 2 week period to allow everyone to vote, be informed of the meeting in time, and express opinions before the meeting if they cant attend. this has worked well for like 5+ years as nothing was ever pressing for us. doing a show was only a matter of a member stepping forward to be the show coordinator and then getting enough support and the logistics to make the show happen. this is a really odd case though. we are now stuck that we will need a decision i think by tues on this and there is no way by our rules we can make that. we do need to rethink this in our rules i guess as unless we let this pass by or folks can come to an agreement on this outside of a club vote we are going to break our own club rules.

 

I doubt it would be good to bring this back to the planners as they seemed pretty intense at 4 AT MOST on sat. I think their response would be either pick 4 or just cancel this out.

 

turns out with aaron 3 of us have passed some level of security clearance, but its not clear if that will help at all as she said anyone that is sent will have to go through the process next week if possible. im assuming we need to have a couple of backups just in case someone were to for some odd reason get knocked out. could be since we are bringing gear to where ever that heightens the security. i think my clearance would be in the is type as we were in the bureau of engravings printing plants and taking pictures of the systems to do an exhibit on it and their security makes dod look like a circus -- when it comes to the almighty dollar its taken more seriously than state secrets!!! we each had a secret service agent with us at all times and they even follow you into the bathroom! be fun if we could get pictures of the xray of the layout.

 

yeuch is all i can say, i just feel awful about this and i doubt the event happening is going to make me feel much better. a few members are not emailing at all anymore which worries me. aaron ill try and call you later today after i go through the pile of messages here and after i try to phone the members that have gone dark. thanks for being reasonable in your posts on the jrm list, better w/o more gas on the fire.

 

jeff

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cteno4

well its been a long dark day. i tried to cheer myself up by doing a little shopping on hobby search today, but that didnt do any good except bang the cc. sorry if this venting here is not comfortable with folks, but i feel pretty isolated now with this whole mess and jns is the only place that i have that probably could directly relate to the situation. i talked to one old friend (not a model train person) and they sort of thought it silly that adults were being so bent out of shape over model trains! that was a great help...

 

no one seems to really agree much at all. there are a few of us that are pretty stepped back from it now and are good friends, but even then we are not in total agreement on how we should move forward with this. one member i think has pretty much quit over this and one is really steamed, but i hope will calm down. rest are either a bit riled by all this or like me sort of sitting here stunned. going from the elation on friday of the honor of doing this to this mess by today has not been emotionally good, one of the worst days i think i have had. i think we are going to muddle through it one way or another, but its let the air out of the sails of the club big time. at least all the layout stuff is currently stored at my house and another member's house who is not too upset so i dont think we will have any issue in getting to do our usual sakura matsuri display in two weeks, but again i think a lot of the fun will be out of it, but perhaps it will be something to regroup around and mend the fences some.

 

i ended up in the middle on this and with most of the crap flying my way as I was the person who was the contact with all the wash dc cherry blossom festival folks and was the contacted about all this and asked to get the club to do it. cant help but feel a bit responsible for this as i should have thought this through more before bringing it to the club (issue of the 4 guests did cross my mind as an issue, but thought it would just work itself out, yeah right!)

 

thanks for letting me vent here. i realize a few jrm members are on jns but i have not said anything here that ive not expressed to the group and with jrm not having any consensus i figured jns might help provide some, thanks for the input, appreciate it.

 

after i hear more details on monday the officers are going to have a conference call in the afternoon and see what we want to try and work out with the club members or pass on the event. ill post something after that to let you know the resolution of all this.

 

i feel like im in some reality tv show where the producers engineer a horrible situation for the participants to be set in and then let things explode -- i LOTHE those.

 

jeff

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cteno4

I forgot to say thank you to aaron again here, he did a good job of being very understanding on the phone earlier and trying to cheer me up! thanks i really appreciated that aaron.

 

jeff

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Guest ___

no problem, Jeff. figured if i could cheer anyone up before heading to Baltimore to talk to the federallies about a little misunderstanding about some content from a AnonSecCom.... grrrr.....

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disturbman

My condoleances Jeff. I just can't believe that such a nice opportunity seems to have evolved in a ego war among JRM members. That really sucks. Hope it get resolved in a good way.

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to2leo

So sorry to hear that you and the club has to experience something like this, Jeff.  Making any decision like this is not easy.  I wouldn't pass on this rare opportunity.  IMHO, I would go for a vote on the criteria to select the 6 members from the group.   After the criteria are set, the group will be able to fairly select 6 members for nomination.  Finally, the whole group will vote 4 times to get the 4 members from the 6 nominated.

 

The thing is if this turns out great, the club might be invited to more function. 

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Guest JRF-1935

Jeff

  Sorry to hear you are going through all this.  From our conversation today you know I back you 100%.  Glad I'm not one of the members upset.

Rich C

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cteno4

thanks, not egos so much as its one of those situations where it gets really hard to slice and dice...

 

rub still is we cant officially hold a vote like this in time. im not even sure we can get everyone to talk quickly and calmly at this point as its just been some frayed nerves. i think most of this will just dissipate with time, its just hard to try and get this decision done fast here with the frayed nerves.

 

only time will tell here...

 

thanks

 

jeff

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cteno4

Thanks rich, i guess im am upset that the whole thing is such a catch 22 situation all around. skipping along until you realize you are standing in the middle of a mine field!

 

jeff

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Guest JRF-1935

Your welcome Jeff

  Hang in there - things will turn out for the best.

Rich C

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Hobby Dreamer

Hi Jeff,

 

Sorry to see you eaten up by this.. 

 

I don't know if your club is based on friendship or just common interest, but friends should be understanding.

 

However important this might seem hopefully its the importance to the club and not those who go. It not like Obama (if he's there) is going to "hang" with you guys..

 

In the future your club can look to 2012 as the year some rubbed elbows with people they probably would not like in real life, or you can be reminded that your club made a lot of Japanese kids happy at a time of trauma in their lives...

 

Don't lose sleep on this!  Its not really that important in the grand scheme of things.. Pull out the first N scale item you bought and enjoy that!

 

Cheers

Rick

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PhilipS

Quite the predicament.

 

To them, is it all about walking the yellow brick road to the WH or the chance to lobby?

 

It's just toy trains. I never accepted how people can end friendships over hobbies. So much drama.

 

So you are going regardless of the lottery right?

 

A mock inspection of attire and members are in order. Hair cuts, trimmed facial hair and that includes the Father Christmas eyebrows, too. Look clean. Speak well. Don't speak unless spoken to.

 

I belong to 2 clubs. One club has most of its members that look like they live on the rails, the other are all Happy retirees that seem to have their chemicals balanced. Whom do you prefer to represent your city at an intimate international event?

 

Maybe the new Kato E2 (tsunami anniv edition) will be in your hands for the show and that will very much please the Ambassador and his wife. Quite a lasting impression.

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linkey

Hi Jeff,

 

At the Australian Japanese Model Railway Group we too have issues that needs to be voted on and if there is something very urgent like this matter we have the core four members to make the final say but after hearing from the members first) the core four positions are the Event Co-ord (secertary), Tresurer, Our Module Standards member and the Web site admin. if we get a tie then the Event Co-ord has the extra vote. Sadly we don't have a president in our group as no-one wanted the role but with the Secretary and the Tresurer are ableto work mostly everything out, it gives the group some breathing space.

 

I am about to post up something that has caused something similar to you on our end in regard to Japan Festival and the response we got from the organisers (when you read their response we just had to laugh at ourselves.

 

Congrats in being invited to something big as that and JRM members should be proud but understandable it would be very hard to only have 4 members to attend to this event.

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marknewton

Jeff, while I think it's nice for JRM to have received this invite, I don't think it's worth losing friendships over. As others have noted, it's likely that the people at this function will have no interest in trains, so they'll probably barely register your presence. Ask your unhappy members if they really think it's worth having a sook and/or dummy spit about?

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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cteno4

well we had or officer meeting today and sad to say that with all the input we had form members we have decided to not go to the show and temporarily suspend club operations for 2012. Tempers were so high that we thought that it best to all step back for a bit and wait. Sad way to end but april first only happens on one day a year.

 

Of course all this happened in an parallel universe with a parallel JRM (think star trek mirror, mirror).

 

This is Jeff Reynolds, ladies and gentlemen, out of character, to assure you that The report of the destruction of the JRM club has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be; The JRM's own forum version of dressing up in a godzilla costume and jumping out of a bush and saying "ARUUNGGGG!". Starting now, we couldn't send prank emails, phony voice mails, and spin stories with you in person in a day, so we did the next best thing. We annihilated the JRM club before your very eyes and utterly destroyed the the 9 years of friendship and fun. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn't mean it, and that JRM are still together and no black eyes, just a few chuckling. So goodbye everybody, and remember please for the next day or so the terrible lesson you learned today. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your train room is just a Japanese model train enthusiast, and if your doorbell rings and nobody's there, that was no Godzilla, it's April Fools. (a star for anyone who knows where that was adapted from!)

 

gotcha, APRIL FOOLS! Sorry, April fools pranks are so rare these days, yah gotta get yanked once and a while...

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

I just knew it.. I refrained from commenting until April 1st was over, good thing I did  :grin

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cteno4

yeah easy to say the day after april fools day! i wondered how many would remember the great Akitazilla vs squirrlus disaster of april 1, 2010...

 

jeff

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