Classification Talk: Phill Briscoe

Rotarians meet weekly and weekly meetings allow members to get to know each other personally and develop a high level of Esprit de corps. This comradery builds not only builds a strong bond but also encourages members to not only participate but explore numerous avenues to explore “Service Above Self”.

Phill BriscoeOn October 6th, Phill Briscoe came forth with the touch of autobiography that we term a classification talk. (Traditionally Rotary classifies us as to occupation. Maybe there are other ways).   Phill originated in Great Bend, Kansas. Its name would appear to come from what one sees on a map, to wit, its location at the apex of a major bend in the Arkansas (pronounced ar kan’ zass) River.

  • Aesthetically minded, his school chose a gorilla as a mascot. Phill did his best for the Gorillas in track. The teams did quite well.
  • Kansas is not entirely flat; there is an elevation named Mushroom Rock.
  • His family, ever-supportive, was active in diverse community activities.
  • Phill moved to the northwest in 1972 and became a lecturer in ethnic studies at Central Washington State College.
  • Further career progression:

o   1976–Upward Bound instructor at Evergreen State College.

o   1980–Allstate Insurance finance; agent (20 years)

o   2000–Microsoft certified systems engineer, then Microsoft small business specialist.

o   Established Ebony Knight Consulting/Briscoe Network Solutions

  • Military–Republic of Viet Nam, a significant period in his life’s direction.
  • Tai-Chi, an important part of his life. He went to China as an honoree in the discipline.

Presently Phill is retired and spends time with friends. Friends, Rotary, Tai-Chi, and race relations currently fill his calendar. A closing memorable photo of Phill on a Chinese litter after an injury piqued some interest. Some yuan changed hands at that juncture.

Conclusion: Phill filled the bill, but we’ll never have our fill of Phill.

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Matt George the Mussel-man


Mussel Adhesion



Matt George, the avid mussel-man
Is doing more than most men can,
Upon the margin of the sea
To earn a surefire PhD.
The principle he has in view
Is how the mussel forms its glue.
It binds with such tenacity,
It may have use in surgery.
In low pH and low Oh-two,
The process may slow down,’tis true–
Especially when by degrees,
These factors fall on future seas.
And since the mussel forms fine food,
We think starfishes more than rude:
“Tis shellfish of them, far from right,
To so indulge their appetite.
But mussels more than merely mate–
They wildly proliferate.
The net(?) result: they thus abound
To breed enough to go around.
Upon them, thus, the world shall dine
As other food fish fast decline.  [Poem by Dr. Hal]

In Summary: We must hustle the bustle to harvest the mussel; The world stands prepared, the mussel to guzzle.

Matt_MusselsHanging by a thread


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Humor-More from Dr. Hal

Dr Hal
Dr Hal
  • A manufacturer said to a storekeeper, “Thank you, Mr. Schwartz, for your patronage.
  • I wish I had twenty customers like you.”
    “Gee, it’s good to hear you talk like that, but I’m kind of surprised,” admitted Schwartz.
    “You know that I protest every bill and never pay on time.”
    The manufacturer said, “I’d still like twenty customers like you.
    The problem is, I have two hundred.”


The high school kid loved fast cars, and was thrilled to land a summer job with the local Alfa Romeo service center.
“Gee, Mr. Vespucci,” he gushed, grabbing a wrench,
“I can’t wait to learn the ins and outs of fixing up these babies.”
So he was startled when Mr. Vespucci told him to put down his tools and listen up.
“The first thing you gotta learn how to do,” he instructed the kid,
“is to open the hood, stand back, and shake your head very, very sadly.”

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Humor from Dr. Hal

  • Mrs. Applebee, the 6th grade teacher, posed the following problem to one of her arithmetic classes:

“A wealthy man dies and leaves ten million dollars. One-fifth is to go to his wife; one-fifth is to go to his son, one-sixth to his butler, and the rest to charity.

Now, what does each get?”

After a very long silence in the classroom, Little Morris raised his hand. The teacher called on Little Morris for his answer. With complete sincerity in his voice, Little Morris answered,

“A lawyer.”

  • An expectant mother was being rushed to the hospital, but didn’t quite make it.She gave birth to her baby on the hospital lawn.Later, the father received a bill, listing “Delivery room fee: $500.”He wrote to the hospital and reminded them that the baby was born on the front lawn.A week passed, and a corrected bill arrived:”Greens Fee: $200.”

    Dr Hal
    Dr Hal


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Humor via Dr. Hal

Trivialis et Jovialis

  • Little Tim was in the garden filling in a hole when his neighbor peered over the fence.
    Interested in what the cheeky-faced youngster was up to, he politely asked, “What are you up to there, Tim?”
    “My goldfish died,” replied Tim tearfully without looking up, “and I’ve just buried him.”
    The neighbor was concerned. “That’s an awfully big hole for a goldfish, isn’t it?”
    Tim patted down the last heap of earth, then replied,
    “That’s because he’s still inside your cat!”


  • A woman phoned her dentist when she received a huge bill.
    “I’m shocked!” she complained. “This is three times what you normally charge.”
    “Yes, I know,” said the dentist.
    “But you yelled so loud, you scared away two other patients.”
Dr Hal
Dr Hal
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Mirtholgy by Dr. Hal

I. Perhaps you have heard the eerie story of the Ghost Car. Whether you have or have not, here goes:

A guy was on the side of the road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the middle of a storm. The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly he saw a car coming toward him and stop.

Without thinking about it, the guy got into the back seat, closed the door–and then realized there was nobody behind the wheel! The car started slowly; the guy looked at the road and saw a curve coming his way. Scared, he started to pray, begging for his life. He hadn’t come out of shock when, just before he hit the curve, a hand appeared through the window and moved the wheel. The guy, paralyzed in terror, watched how the hand appeared every time right before a curve. Gathering his strength, the guy finally jumped out of the car and ran to the nearest town. Wet and in shock, he went into a restaurant and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had gone through.

A silence enveloped everybody when they realized the guy was serious. About half an hour later, two guys walked into the same restaurant. They looked around for a table, when one said to the other, “Look, John–that’s the guy who got into the car when we were pushing it.”

II.  A police officer pulled over a car. When he walked up to the car, he saw that there were three elderly ladies within.

He said, “Ma’am, you’re driving too slowly. Could you please drive faster?”

The driver replied, “Oh, I’m sorry, officer. I saw a 21 on the sign and assumed the speed limit was 21 miles per hour.”

The officer explained, “No, ma’am. The speed limit is 65. The highway is 21.”

Then the police officer looked in the back and noticed that the two other ladies were in a tight embrace and shaking like leaves. “Excuse me,” said the officer to the driver, “but what’s wrong with those two?

“Oh,” she replied, “That must be because we just got off Highway 145.”

Dr Hall
Dr. Hal
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Trivialis et Jovialis #3 From Dr Hal

No one believes seniors. . .everyone thinks they are senile.

An elderly couple was celebrating its 60th anniversary. They’d been childhood sweethearts and had moved back to their old neighborhood. Holding hands, they walked back to their old school. It was not locked. They visited the old desk they had shared where Jerry had carved “I love you, Sally.”

On their way back home, a truck spilled out a bag of money which landed at their feet.  Sally quickly picked it up and, not sure what to do there, she counted the money — fifty thousand dollars!

Jerry said, “We’ve got to give it back.”
Sally said, “Finders keepers.”

She put the money into the back of the attic.

The next day, two policemen, who were canvassing the neighborhood, knocked on their door. “Pardon us, but did either of you find a bag yesterday? they asked. Sally said, “No.” Jerry said, “She’s lying. She hid it up in the attic.” Sally said, “Don’t believe him; he’s getting senile.” The constables turned to Jerry and began to question him. One said, “Tell us the story from the beginning.” Jerry said, “Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday….” The first police officer turned to his partner and said, “We’re outta here!”

An Amish girl and her mother were visiting a mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again.

The girl asked, “What is this, mother?” The mother, never having seen an elevator responded, “I have never seen anything like this in my life. I don’t know what it is.”

While the girl and her mother watched with amazement, an old man in a wheelchair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the man rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the girl and her mother watched the small numbers above the walls light up sequentially. They continued to watch until the last number was reached, and they watched some more as the numbers began to light in reverse order. The walls opened up again and a hunky young man stepped out.

The mother, not taking her eyes off the young man, said quietly to her daughter, “Go get your father.”

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#1. The owner of a clothing store, returning from lunch, was met by his jubilant salesman.

“C.J.,” exulted the salesman, “I just sold that suit that had been hanging for years in the corner!”

Owner: “You mean the plaid, double breasted one with the pink lapels and the gold stripes running down the bell-bottomed trouser legs?”

Salesman: “Yes, and I got top dollar for it, too!”

Owner: “Nice going—-but why is your hand bandaged?”

Salesman: “As the customer was leaving, his seeing-eye dog bit me.”

#2. The rescue party arrived at the scene of the plane crash. The sole survivor was observed leaning against the fuselage. He was surrounded by a small mountain of bones and was busily gnawing at another one.

Noting the aghast stares of the rescuers, he remonstrated, “Look, I know what you’re thinking. But I had to survive. It has been done before. Think of the Donner party!

Said the leader of the group, “Yes, but good God, man–your plane went down only last night….”

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Dr. Hall: Joques

#1. A preacher was exhorting about heaven and hell and related matters. “Everyone who wants to go to heaven, raise your hands!” he said. The entire congregation but one man raised its hands. The preacher pointed at the man, saying, “You over there, don’t you want to go to heaven?”

“Sure, eventually,” said the fellow, “but ah tho’t you wuz gettin’ up a load to go now.”

#2. The brass at an army post was concerned that GI life insurance sales were way down. The recruits just were not buying. A young captain, newly on the post, volunteered his services. “Let me have a go at it,” said he. “Sure, go ahead and try it,” was the unanimous word. “We doubt if you can do any better.”

Within a month, sales improved. By the second month, they approached 100%. “How did you do it?” they asked.

He said as follows: “I told them, ‘Consider you get killed in battle and are uninsured. The government will grant your family $7,000 or so. But if you buy the full insurance, they will get the full $100,000.” “Then I let this sink in and, after a few moments, concluded with: ‘Now who do you think they’ll put into the front lines?’ “

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