Board of Directors Meeting – September 2009

Title: RMAG September Board of Directors Meeting

Author: Jay Leaver, Secretary

Publication: The Outcrop, November 2009, p. 31, 36

The Board of Directors met on August 19th in the conference room of the University Building. The next regularly scheduled BOD meetings are to be at the same venue, at 4:00 p.m., on Wednesday, October 14, November 18, and December 11. These meetings are open to the membership.

Wow, there it is: an announcement of the December BOD Meeting, the last for which your humble correspondent will be reporting. An excellent slate of possible replacements will be introduced at the next few Luncheons. Please vote for one or more of them early and often: recent years’ voting returns have been dismal (I am informed I was elected by six of the ten people who voted last year, and four of them thought I was Jay Leonard.)

All this kind of makes a fellow nostalgic. Why, I remember the year I graduated from Mines: 1986. Great year. Oil hit $11/barrel, down from over $40/barrel when I matriculated. Layoffs right and left, nobody hiring, surviving companies fleeing the Rockies. Most of my classmates took one look at the market and did the smart thing: they went to graduate school. If I hadn’t been so burned out by courses like ‘Quantum Physics for Geologists’ (Exam problem: transcribe the sedimentary particle size Chart into a wave Form), I’d have joined them. As it was, I went to work at Pizza Hut, where I had time to reflect on the value of not neglecting one’s education. And got my hands on a lot of dough, too.

All this is a preamble to announce that according to Sandi, RMAG sold only four (4!) publications in the month of August, making it the worst month for publication sales in her experience. C’mon people! Quantum Physics teaches us that What Goes Down Very Probably Comes Up! If the company has cut back your hours, then hey, you have time to catch up on some reading before the upturn. Most RMAG publications will be on sale at the Prospect Fair November 2nd.

Budget shortfalls have unfortunately been the dominant theme this year for Symposia, Short Courses, and Publications. In most cases this has been partly offset by lower costs, but in the case of the Paradox Guidebook there were significant cost overruns. We are hopeful that the initial payment from the AAPG for our share of the proceeds from the Convention will get here in time to forestall a second sip from the Rainy Day Fund. Quantum Mechanics teaches a lot about things randomly appearing and disappearing, but I still don’t understand the Postal Service and the AAPG.

Our Treasurers have been making progress on instigating a formal Audit of RMAG, and have sent out RFPs to four possible candidate accounting firms. It seems unlikely that this process will be finished during our term. Sonnenberg’s Uncertainty Principal (an example of Quantum Finance) teaches us that the product of the uncertainty in the amount of money involved in a project (Δ$) and the uncertainty in the time involved (Δt) is always larger than the constant representing the intelligent decision threshold. Hopefully, the RFP responses will collapse these uncertainties to something reasonable, and thereby convince us not to make our Treasurer walk the plank.

A large portion of the remainder of the meeting was devoted to various sordid details involving Cheap Beer, the Rockbuster’s Ball (November 21st, where no doubt Gary will regale us with puns worse than the ones in this column), and RMAG Office Computer Mayhem that (believe it or not) are beneath the dignity of this column to report. Besides, I promised Erwin I wouldn’t let his Cat out of the bag.