Thursday, December 30, 2004

A New Year Approaches

So many are making their New Year's resolutions and thinking about how much better 2005 will be than 2004. I, too, have high aspirations for what the new year will bring, but, as my last post implies, I am also subject to hearing my husband voice his skepticism.

Don't get him wrong; he has high aspirations for the new year, as well. Goals such as attaining his associate's and possibly his bachelor's degrees both in the same year! Getting a new FULL-TIME job, moving us out of this crappy 400-square-foot apartment and into at least one that's 900 sq. ft., etc.

I, too, would like to move into full-time at The Wichita Eagle and move into a new apartment. I'd also like to get rid of our current couch, get a new bed and use our futon as a couch instead of our regular bed. Ron likes it, but it's just too hard for me.

We've also thought about starting a family, but if it doesn't happen in 2005, it's no big deal. We've got other things to take care of first before we're ready to think about a baby. God has His timing, too.

And in other news, my parents get a new house in the new year. They closed on a beautiful big house (in my opinion, of course) today and get to start moving into it! They've been building it for a while now, and have done a lot of their own work. And it's paid off. A big congratulations to them!

May God bless us all with a better 2005 than we can imagine right now. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

"Listen to your husband"

This is what my husband tells me frequently when he thinks he knows more than I do or better than I do and I want to do things my own way. Well, sometimes he's right. And I really hate to admit that.

Ron reminds me that a good journalist always verifies her information with more than one source, and the previous post was made without doing so. For that, I apologize. My readers deserve to get the whole truth presented in an honest manner, and I was at fault for not doing so.

It turns out that there was more information that I didn't know about, some of which is still to be learned, and I should have waited to post anything until I had more information. I was going off of one source, one which often is unreliable when it comes to embellishment and overexaggeration. Most things in the post were true, because they came from a reliable source, but others were from the souce that is often flawed.

Something my husband doesn't understand about me is how I can get so worked up about things. But the reason I get worked up, especially about something involving care of an individual, is because I'm a nurturer. The thought of abuse or neglect of someone who's been entrusted to someone else makes my heart beat quickly with anger and anxiety. I care way too much, I guess.

From now on (and this is my promise to all of you), I will verify my sources or make sure that the sources I do have are reliable. And, yes, Ron, I will listen to you more often. (He's laughing.)

Friday, December 24, 2004

From the serious to the seriously disturbed...

Our good friend Dan (Random Thoughts of a Confessional Lutheran, a.k.a. the Rock Guy) gave Ron and me a copy of "The Dysfunctional Family Christmas Songbook" for Christmas. By the way, Dan, we both like and appreciate it!

I'd like to quote a song from it, just for Christmas kicks. So, here we go:
"Come Meet the Family" to the tune of "O Come All Ye Faithful"

O come meet the family,
Bad breeding triumphant;
O come meet the family dysfunctional.
Come and behold them
As they brag and fight and whine.

For it's a celebration
Of Christmas aggravation
And if you're no relation,
Just thank the Lord.

Come meet the drinkers,
Kleptos, kooks and stinkers.
Come meet the tattooed chick
And horny dog.
Don't miss the in-laws
Even though they'll make you puke.

For it's a celebration
Of Christmas aggravation
And if you're no relation,
Just thank the Lord.

Sing as you meet them,
Sing in exultation
Sing as you gather with
Your own nutty kin.
Look at your family:
They could be a whole lot worse.

For it's a celebration
Of Christmas aggravation
And if you're no relation,
Just thank the Lord.

Or, how about this one to the tune of "Jingle Bells":

"Grandpa's Drunk"

Lying in the snow
With his bourbon at his side
Grandpa's moving slow,
Mouth hung open wide.

Eyes like soft boiled eggs
Searching for his drink.
He cannot move his legs and things
Are getting bad, I think.

Oh, Grandpa fell, Grandpa fell,
Grandpa fell down drunk.
Oh, how bad it is to see him freeze into a chunk.
Oh, Grandpa fell, Grandpa fell,
Grandpa fell down drunk.
Oh, how bad it is to see him freeze into a chunk.

Grandma limps around,
Lookin' mighty miffed,
Spies an icy mound,
It's Grandpa or a drift.

Runs out in her robe
To give him a fat lip.
When she tries to roll him home,
She falls and breaks her hip.

Oh, Grandma fell, Grandma fell,
Grandma fell kerplunk.
Oh How sad it is to see her freeze into a chunk.

Oh, Grandpa fell, Grandpa fell,
Grandpa fell down drunk.
Oh, how sad to see both geezers freeze into a chunk.

Thank you, Dan, for the most splendid parody to Christmas songs. We will enjoy this very much!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

"Prepare the Royal Highway," LW 27

Prepare the royal highway;
The King of kings is near!
Let ev'ry hill and valley
A level road appear!
Then greet the king of glory
Foretold in sacred story:

Oh, blest is he that came
In God the Father's name!

God's people, see him coming:
Your own eternal king!
Palm branches strew before him!
Spread garments! Shout and sing!
God's promise will not fail you!
No more shall doubt assail you!

Oh, blest is he that came
In God the Father's name!

Then fling the gates wide open
To greet your promised king!
Your king, yet ev'ry nation
Its tribute too should bring.
All lands, bow down before him!
All voices, join in singing:

Oh, blest is he that came
In God the Father's name!

His is no earthly kingdom;
It comes from heav'n above.
His rule is peace and freedom
And justice, truth, and love.
So let your praise be sounding
For kindness so abounding:

Oh, blest is he that came
In God the Father's name!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Find a way to give this Christmas

In the spirit of Christmas (so to say), I will be donating my time today to give facials to underprivileged teenage girls. Another lady or two will be doing their hair for them. These are girls who might not get a bath every day, might not have clean hair or faces, or even clean or new clothes. It feels good to give, and it's something that people should do.

Also, later today, I'll be working a phone bank at our local CBS affiliate, KWCH TV, giving winter weather travel information to those who call in. It's part of a partnership deal between The Wichita Eagle, my new employer, and the television station. (Okay, I do have an alterior motive for this: being recognized by and getting to know those who work in the newsroom on the third floor of the paper. Hopefully I can get a job up there soon -- in the next year or two, maybe.)

Whether it's donating your time, old clothes or coats, picking up a gift for an angel tree, or whatever, it's good to give to those in need. I know Ron and I have appreciated all of those who gave to us during my surgeries and unemployment.

It's not that you must give or donate, but that you will be blessed by what you do for others. God gives us blessings so that we can bless others.

How sick can one person be?

A woman tried to pass of an infant as her own, but was apprehended when authorities found that the real mother was dead, a result of strangulation, and her baby was cut out of her uterus.

The baby will be fine, and is with its father now. The woman charged with killing the mother and kidnapping her unborn baby is awaiting sentencing to see whether she'll be given life in prison or the death penalty.

This was a crime that began in a small Kansas town and ended up in Missouri, making this a federal case. Sad.

Read the story from Wichita's ABC affiliate, KAKE TV, here.

Monday, December 13, 2004

A sad state of affairs...

It is not my intention to bring the mood of this blog down, but there are things still looming in the air after the voters' meeting that was held at my church Sunday. I just think it would help me to get some positive feedback from my readers.

I've been to a lot of Lutheran churches in my life. I've been a member at probably ten, and have had very different experiences at each one. (Not to rely on experience), but until Ron and I joined Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, I have never been a part of adult goings-on, probably because I was with my parents at all of the other churches and was not looked at as an adult. Now I am. And as an adult, I participate in the voters' meetings to help our church decide what actions to take. I want to be involved.

Throughout my life, I've probably only missed less than 20 Sunday services. No matter where I was, visiting a strange town or staying in my hometown, I and my family always tried to find a church at which to worship on Sunday mornings. This is something Ron and I make a point of researching before we travel anywhere: Where are we going to worship while we're there? We even e-mail or call the pastors before we leave to make sure we can commune, and give references from our home church. My faith life has been enriched by this.

Even when I was going through the incredibly debilitating foot surgeries from the time I was four until this year, I never wanted to miss church. It has always been THAT important to me.

So, when I find a pastor with whom I really connect, someone I really respect and have learned a lot from, someone as learned as the pastor Ron and I have right now, it pains me a great deal to watch and listen as one person after another gets up to describe him as a monster, something I know for a fact he is not. And if anyone comments on this blog that this is a lie, or that my pastor has been lying to us, you are dead wrong!

There were a number of people who attended the voters' meeting Sunday whom I've never seen in three years of attending every Sunday worship service and every Advent and Lenten service. It was obvious that they held an agenda and that someone told them about the meeting so they could be there to cause dissention.

Let me speak to this honestly: If you go to a church meeting with an agenda to divide the sheep, you work for the wolf, a.k.a., the DEVIL! You have nothing but evil in your heart and you are doing the work of Satan! Examine yourself and pray! If you don't realize this, the devil has already won you over. May God have mercy on you!

Pastors are shepherds called by God to lead his sheep. If the sheep rebel, they fall off the cliffs and die. Sheep cannot lead themselves, people! That's why we call pastors, shepherds, to lead us! We need them! If you attack the shephard, you might as well be what the Bible refers to the devil as: the wolf.

Am I saying that everyone who gets up and lets out an emotional response is possessed? NO! What I am saying is that the devil is working on you and you're giving in. If you go so far as to attend a church meeting for the sole purpose of dividing the sheep, you have become the wolf. You are not welcome in our presence because you cause harm to us; you destroy us!

There was a man who spoke during the discussion period after the business portion of the meeting who said he'd been a member of our church for 28 years. Okay, fine. Where have you been for the last three, because we sure haven't seen you!

Don't go to voters' meetings to cause dissention. That's wrong. It's un-Christian. You become a wolf in sheep's clothing. You are deceitful, an instrument of evil. I pray that you lose your wolf costume for good, before you actually become the wolf, yourself.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Let's Sing!

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
You are 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'. You take
Christmas very seriously. For you, it is a
religious festival, celebrating the birth of
the Saviour, and its current secularisation
really irritates you. You enjoy the period of
Advent leading up to Christmas, and attend any
local carol services you can find, as well as
the more contemplative Advent church services
each Sunday. You may be involved in Christmas
food collections or similar charity work. The
midnight service at your church, with candles
and carols, is one you look forward to all
year, and you also look forward to the family
get together on Christmas Day.

What Christmas Carol are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Just as a sidenote, I'm going carolling with my church choir (and anyone else from church who wants to join us) this Saturday to our member shut-ins (people who, for some reason or another can't get to church). And I'm dragging my wonderful hubby along with me!!! He doesn't think he's a very good singer, but he can belt out a Christmas carol when he wants to. I've heard him!

If you get a chance to go carolling, you should. It really starts the Advent season off well. Remembering the real reason behind Christmas, instead of the crap about Santa.

Don't get me wrong, I like singing the crazy songs like "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" and others like "Walking in a winter wonderland." But my favorites, those I could sing over and over again, are the traditional ones that are printed in hymn books in church.

Midnight services, singing in the choir, decorating the Christmas tree with chrismons, gazing at a Nativity set... How wonderful!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What Some Will Pay...

This Sunday will be the second time in a row that customers have requested their wedding announcements be published in color for an extra $100. I can't believe people are willing to pay that much just to have their pictures published in color!

A week ago yesterday, a lady came in to place an announcement for her son and new daughter-in-law's wedding. She had her form filled out and her credit card ready when she arrived. She chose a 3.87 x 7 inch photo size, which publishes for $135 by itself in black and white. She also chose the basic announcement (for $6) plus several add-ons (for $15 each) and slicks (copies of the actual announcement on high-gloss white paper that doesn't yellow). Her total cost was almost $300! And she acted like it was no big deal!

When I started looking at the announcement information and typed it up, I realized why it wasn't a big deal for her to plop down 300 big ones: her husband, her son, her new daughter-in-law and several of the people in the wedding party are in the medical field, most as doctors of some form or another. (By the way, she called today and said she and her family had never received so many compliments! She said it was beautiful and we'd done a very good job. I was so happy!)

A man came in today with his check already made out. He wanted our next-largest size of 3.87 x 4 inches, which usually publishes for $85 in black and white, $185 since he wanted it in color. He and his wife just wanted the basic announcement, though, for six bucks. But they're getting slicks, too, so their total was barely over $200, but still!

Why is it so expensive to run an announcement in color? I'm glad you asked! When we run a page in color, we use four negatives to run on the presses instead of just one: Black, cyan, yellow and maroon (I think).

We're going to try to lower the price for running color photos to just $50 in the new year to encourage people to choose color photos more often, even though it's more work for us. Hey, we could use a revenue boost! We're not a non-profit organization, afterall.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Medical Marijuana: Should It Be Legalized?

I know that for some this is a touchy subject. Should marijuana be legalized for people with severe physical disabilities who say that no other medicine prescribed by a doctor will ease their suffering? I think it should.

Countless Americans (and countless people worldwide) suffer from debilitating diseases like multiple sclerosis and others. They say that unless they smoke a joint, they can't move on their own. The pain is excruciating, and they're practically useless, physically speaking.

If you didn't already know, California passed a State law saying that if a physician prescribes it, patients who really need it can take marijuana as medicine for their pain. Montel Williams (the popular television talk show host) has said many times on his show that he, himself, uses medical marijuana. He has MS, and, he said, that if he doesn't smoke a joint in the morning, he can't get out of bed. Needless to say, he's a raving supporter.

I know what kind of pain surgery on one's bones can bring. It's unbearable. It's the kind of pain that won't let you sleep even if you're hopped up on pain pills that cause drowsiness! And as bad as that is, that's the kind of pain that goes away over time. People with these diseases don't have the luxury of knowing that eventually, their pain will get better. It's worse than what I experienced with my reconstructive foot surgeries!

Anyway, now the Supreme Court has said that federal law overrides state law, so physicians in California who are prescribing medical marijuana are breaking the law. The justices are afraid that these ailing patients will sell their medicine to drug addicts. But why would you sell something that helps you function if you absolutely cannot function without it? I mean, does it make sense?

Yes, marijuana is a drug, but so are all of the other prescriptions that doctors prescribe! Any prescription drug can be abused. Any drug can be addictive. Any drug can cause death if used incorrectly. All the federal government has to do is move marijuana from one list of drugs to another. It's that simple.

Montel had something interesting to say on his show: "I don't care if my doctor wants me to smoke it in front of him in his office. If I have to be at his office at 7 a.m. in order to use my medicine, I'll be there. Somehow."

Monday, November 29, 2004

Thanksgiving's Over, but Life is Not

When Ron and I went to visit my grandma and her husband Friday and Saturday, I was surprised as to how much Roy (my step-grandfather) has gone downhill. He seems disoriented a lot, doesn't understand what's going on most of the time, or has to have things explained to him over and over. It's sad.

I remember when he and my grandma got married. I was a sophomore in high school. My sister and I sang at their wedding.

He used to have a sparkle in his eyes, he used to be ornery. He used to smile. He knew how to have fun. That's gone now.

I really admire my grandma, though. She's so gentle and loving and patient with him. She takes care of him as if he were a giant one-year-old, even though he's 18 years older than her. His daughter and grandkids (all of whom have kids of their own) don't seem too willing to give my grandma a break, even though many live in the same town or very nearby. Grandma's there with him 24/7, and it's draining her. But she loves him. We all do.

My holiday prayer is that he makes it through the holidays. Please keep him in your prayers, too.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Thanksgiving Quiz

Brought to you from a link on Dan's blog.

You Are Pumpkin Pie

Even when people are full - they make room for you.
Good or bad, your smell is most likely to arouse a man.

Take the quiz to see what you are! And have a wonderful Thanksgiving, er, TURKEY DAY!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Life as a Graduate / Journalist

After talking to my graduate advisor, I've decided on and enrolled in a class for the spring semester that I can use my $700 scholarship with: Communication 812: Contemporary Theories in Communication.

"Study selected conceptual models useful in the academic study of human communication, including theories involving such contexts as interpersonal communications, public communication and mass communication."

Don't worry, I made sure with my advisor that I could take this class without having taken the other two classes that I should have taken before this semester's class. Next fall, though, I was told, I need to try to take both Comm. 801 and 802: Introduction to Communication Research and Historical and Qualitative Methodologies in Communication Research, respectively.

Also, just as an update: Some poor sap got suckered into taking that position at KPTS, and they're going to be working their tails off for half the pay they deserve for it. Someone must not have done their research. I actually called my interviewer after the interview to make sure the proposed salary of "20 to 24" was either "dollars per hour or thousand per year." That's probably why I didn't get a call-back interview. They knew I was too smart to take something that paid so poorly for all the work they needed done. What do you want to bet they'll be trying to fill that position again in another month or so?

On a sad note, our church's Ministry Assistant has decided to resign. She's going back to school to become a Lay Assistant in the Kansas District. One of the lines in her letter surprised me somewhat (although, maybe it shouldn't have considering the state of our synod): "I am disturbed by the many divisions within the Synod at the present time and the 'confessional' stance taken by some." She also said that she supports all of the resulutions that were passed at Convention in July. Maybe I shouldn't be all that surprised; afterall, she is a babyboomer.

I really wish there were more confessional Lutherans leading our youth. Our young people have too much to deal with the way it is to be led by those in our Synod who are liberal enough to be part of the E*CA. By the same token, I know that there are some very confessional members in the E*CA who might be more comfortable in the LCMS. I've met some of them, and a couple have recently joined our church because it is so very confessional. In fact, it's the most confessional and traditional Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in our entire city (out of about 8, I think).

May God bless our journey!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Free School for ME!

I'd like to share a letter I just got from the Wichita State University Graduate School.

Dear Erica,

Congratulations! The Graduate Review Committee for Educational Opportunity Fund applications has awarded an Educational Opportunity Fund scholarship to you for the Spring 2005 semester. The award is $700.

As I understood it, this was the most they were going to award! I could have been given much less, but they gave me enough to take a class for free, plus get books (I hope)!

My education will continue, albeit with a more elementary subject to graduate school research. I just can't believe they chose me!

Thursday, November 18, 2004


The hard part is over. My presentation went so-so, but I did get a compliment for highlighting the most important data from my tables, and my professor suggested everyone who has tables do the same. In two weeks, as per my professor's revised syllabus, the newspaper for which my class did our research project is sending representatives to visit us and we get to give our presentations all over again.

In the meantime, I need to figure out what's wrong with my printer. The black ink won't print, but the color will. I've tried replacing the cartridge, but to no avail. I had to attach my assignment to an e-mail and have my professor's assistant print it out for me before class. Sixteen pages. How am I supposed to trim that down to a five-minute presentation?!

Anyway, the day is done and I'm exhausted after a day spent preparing for and in my graduate class. Hopefully, we'll be talking about blogs soon, but there isn't much time left to do so. I'll let you know so you can leave more comments, if you want, because I'll probably use my blog as an example. I seem to know more about blogging than anyone else in my class right now. Imagine that!

If I don't write again before next Thursday, HAPPY TURKEY DAY!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Bear with me...

Sorry I've not been blogging as often. I've been putting in eight hours at the Eagle every day (still in training, and they're also trying to give me as many hours as possible), and I'm working furiously on a research project for my graduate class.

Hopefully after I give my oral presentation tomorrow evening, I'll be able to breathe a little easier. No class on Thanksgiving, of course, and then we get back to reading assignments and in-class discussions for the last two weeks before the final.

This class has been pretty cool: no tests at all. Even the final isn't a test: it's a written reaction paper that we have to compose in class. I mean, come on, we're all graduates of some form of communication curriculum. We should be able to write a reaction paper in two hours while in the classroom.

Okay, maybe it's just me. I've always enjoyed written exams more than tests where you have to choose an answer from a list or multiple-choice format. In most cases, if you're not entirely sure of an answer (like a name or something), you can give a description of what or whom you're trying to name and get at least partial credit if you can convince the instructor it just slipped your mind and you really do know what you're talking about.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that after tomorrow, I should be back to blogging as usual. That is, unless and until I decide to take another graduate class. But the next class I take is going to be a step or two backward from where I am now. Who knew I should have taken 801 and 802 before taking 770? And that both of those classes are only offered in the Fall semesters! Grrrrrrrrr!!!!

BTW, no call back yet from KPTS. Oh, well. I'm not disappointed.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Everything I Need To Know About Journalism I Learned From Superman

I just came across this link from the Society for Professional Journalists (of which I am a member) via their periodic e-mail, and I thought some of you might enjoy reading it.

Now, I'm soaring! The Eagle and Superman: what a dynamic duo!

Here ya go!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tomorrow, I Fly Solo

Well, I've been on the job for about a week and a half now, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoy my job! I get to interact with customers on a daily basis and employ elements of the Associated Press Stylebook, and even teach the lady who's training me a few things. (For example, the difference between a hyphen and a dash and when to use plurals when dealing with a prepositional phrase.)

We get some of the most interesting people coming in to place announcements, too. The other day, an older couple came in to place an engagement announcement for themselves. They said they were going to Branson, Mo. for their honeymoon. Melody, the lady training me, asked them if they were going to see Dolly Parton, and the older lady said, "I'm not taking him to see her!" As if to say he didn't need to see her large chest. We all started laughing.

A young lady came in today, and said that she'd been putting off placing a wedding announcement for some time now, and wanted to know if there was a cut-off time for placing one. We told her that we usually like to have them placed no more than a year after the wedding, and she said that her first anniversary was November 1. Well, we didn't want to turn revenue away, and she didn't want to submit an anniversary form because she wanted to put in all kinds of information about the wedding, so we let her place a wedding announcement. She said, "Well, it won't look bad for you guys; I'll be the one who looks retarded." Then she laughed and left with the form.

I got a really cool comment from Melody today, too. She said that I really do a good job dealing with the customers. She said I have a great disposition and make people feel good about coming to us. That's just my personality, though. I like to make people feel good. It's like Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, used to say: "Imagine everyone you meet is wearing a sign around their necks that says 'Make me feel important.'"

Anyway, to get back to the topic of this post, I get to work by myself tomorrow. Melody's kids don't have school tomorrow, and she wants to be able to spend time with them. I've learned enough to take over a mostly-quiet Thursday, anyway. I get to take calls, help customers at our window, work with our page layouts and do some editing. We're going to print the pages to negatives Friday, and that'll be it. (Celebrations publishes in Sunday issues only.)

The only bad part of this job is that we have a really crappy computer. Even the company Emergency Technical Support people are stumped by it. Our computer will freeze up on us as many as ten times a day, even if we only have one program running. The tech guy said he doesn't think it's a virus, we just don't have enough memory to do much of anything. I asked what the possibilities were of getting a new computer, and he said that next summer, the company is going to be purchasing 25 new machines, so we should get some of the trickle-down machines maybe by the end of next year. I don't think we'll be able to make it to the end of this one without having our hard drive rebuilt.

Anyway, I'm enjoying working there. Now I know why I've been wanting to work there for so many years. I'm just thrilled that I've been given this opportunity! Thank God!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Staying for the Flight

Well, it doesn't look like I'll be leaving the Wichita Eagle. I really didn't want to, anyway, but that interview solidified for me the thought that I'd be better off staying where I am.

I found out at the interview at KPTS that they'd have me working an average of 40-60 hours every week, plus extra events like telethons and fundraisers, on top of a list of about 30 duties I'd be responsible for as part of the job. And they want to salary the position at $20,000 - $24,000 per year. I'd work myself to death and get very little pay for it. I figured that if I worked a 60-hour week, I'd get about $7.50 per hour. And that's if they gave me $24,000 per year. I've done the research enough to know that I'm worth about $20 per hour in this market, even with less than five years' experience in the field. No, the Eagle doesn't pay me that much, but they do pay me more than half that wage. And not just barely.

Anyway, they're doing call-back interviews around the middle of the month, and Ron says that if they call me back, I should ask them to double their offer or no deal. They'd never do it. It would just be my way of saying that I'm not dumb enough to take a job that would kill me and pay me a high-schooler's wage when I have a bachelor's degree and I'm working on my master's.

Granted that it's a public television station, but they should still be able to pay me at least half of what I'm worth. Don't you think so? I mean, to offer me something less than that is an insult! And they were interviewing a number of people for that position. I feel sorry for whoever gets it. I really do. Unless they're stinking rich and are only taking the job because they love to work. That doesn't apply to very many people here anymore, though.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I'm an Eagle!

Okay, not literally, but I am working at the Wichita Eagle now! Today was my second day, and I can already tell that I'm going to love it there.

I'm in training for the rest of this week and next, and will be in the office on my own after that, switching off with another lady for days during the week. (Ex., She'd work Monday and Wednesday, I'd work Tuesday and Thursday, and we'd each work half a day on Friday.)

I'm intrigued by some of the benefits I'll be entitled to just by being an employee: Discount movie tickets, discounts on Eagle merchandise and books, travelers' checks at no charge, personal checks cashed up to $100, employees can register to vote, purchase postage stamps, newspapers can be purchased at half-price (including subscriptions), and classified ads can be placed for half-price.

We printed two extra editions of the newspaper today, one about Bush holding an edge on the election, and one about Bush winning after Kerry conceded the race. I, of course, couldn't resist getting both special editions. Each special would usually cost $.25, but I was able to get both for that price since I'm an employee now.

I have an interview at KPTS tomorrow morning, so we'll see how that goes. I'll let you know, but it'll probably be a while before I hear what they thought of me.

About the presidential race: I thought Kerry said he wasn't going to concede! He is, however, going to make sure that every vote is counted for official reasons (which they would be anyway). Ted Kennedy talked to him earlier in the day and helped him do some number crunching. He told Kerry that if he insisted on not conceding until all the provisional votes were tallied, he'd keep the nation divided for at least another 10 days, and that wasn't good for the country. Apparently that's what convinced Kerry to make his concession call to Bush. I'm glad.

There's no statistical way that Kerry could have won in Ohio. Every single one of those provisional ballots would have had to be votes for him in order to have a clear win, and even that would have been too close to call without a recount, which would have put the country in even more turmoil. We didn't really want to have to use those thousands of lawyers, did we? That would have just prolonged the painful race.

We all knew it was going to be close, but I didn't know it would be this close. A margin of just 4 million popular votes and two electoral votes before Kerry conceded. Wow!

Congratulations, Americans! W got his four more years. May each year be better than the last.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

In Honor of this Reformation Day

This is my husband's fifth anniversary as a Lutheran. How appropriate that it should be on Reformation Day!

For those who are unaware of the significance of Reformation Day, it signifies the day when Martin Luther (note: not Martin Luther King) posted 95 theses, or statements for dispute, on the door of the Castle Church (Catholic) in Germany.

He noticed that there were a number of situations occurring within the Catholic Church that deviated from the Bible, and he intended to bring these things to light and try to fix them. It was never his intention to divide the church or to bring about another denomination, let alone an entire movement.

The Catholic church was teaching works righteousness and turned the Lord's Supper, which was God's gift to us, into our merit-earning offering to God.

In our bulletin this morning was a background for (Luther's) order of service. It was printed, "What was needed was a standard order for Communion on which churches and pastors involved in the Reformation could agree. Others determined that none could unite the churches better in this way than Luther, and so he published an essay outlining how the service should be done. His emphasis fell on retaining as much of the tradition as possible while modifying or eliminating objectionable parts."

In other terms, Lutherans (especially the LCMS, since I'm biased) have all of the good parts of Catholicism without any of the bad parts, like praying to Mary and the Saints, the unbiblical belief in purgatory, the selling of indulgences in order to "buy" forgiveness for sins, praying for the deceased, etc. The more traditional, confessional Lutheran churches resemble Catholicism in a number of ways, but the above elements are always eliminated.

I'm what you'd call a "cradle Lutheran," which just means that I've been a Lutheran my entire life. I was born, baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and it is here I'll stay, lest the contemporary church-growth enthusiasts engulf this denomination entirely. It would be only then that I would consider leaving.

Sorry if that offends some people, but there are just certain things that I believe should not be changed, and compromising a system of beliefs just to make others feel more welcome or to be nice and open-minded is not a practice I or my husband, nor many others we know, would be willing to accept or participate in. Period. There are many who've fallen victim to this line of thinking, and they've been so open-minded that their brains fell out, so they can't consult them for reason anymore.

Anyway, to get back to Reformation Day: This is a day that a large number of Lutherans commemorate by participating in celebratory worship services, eating brauts with saurkraut and/or bierocks, singing and dancing. It's a lot of fun, and a cool way to learn about history and heritage that stems back to the 1500s.

If you want more information, check out some of the Lutheran links on the right-hand side of this screen.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Resume Posted

Even though I've been offered a position at the Eagle and am interviewing for another, I decided to post my resume on my former Edited Copy blogspot. That way, I can have it available for anyone who might know of something better out there. (Although preferrably in my area of the country.)

Ron helped me with some of the formatting changes, but neither of us can figure out how to eliminate the extra space between the bulletted items. It looks like I've double-spaced between the bulletted items, but I didn't. It just kind of showed up that way.

If anyone can suggest a way to fix it, please do. We're stumped.

Friday, October 29, 2004

I'm on Fire!

I'd never have guessed that after waiting for four weeks after applying for a job, I'd get a call for an interview, but I did.

Remember me talking about the job possibility at Kansas Public Telecommunications Service (KPTS)? Well, a lady from the HR department just called and scheduled me for an interview next Wednesday! This is a full-time position that, if I'm hired, would allow me to utilize more of my skills than would the Wichita Eagle. Also, if I get the job at KPTS, I might not have to quit reporting by contract for the Wichita Eagle, so that would mean more money, yet. But this time, I know there are several other interviews going on, and there's less of a possibility since there's more competition.

However, the first time I talked to this lady from KPTS, she told me she was scheduling interviews for next Thursday and Friday, but when I called her back (blonde moment--don't ask), she scheduled me for an interview on Wednesday! Hmmmm... Sounds interesting. We'll see what happens.

Even though I've been wanting to work for the Wichita Eagle, I've got way more skills that would fall by the wayside if I were to work there instead of KPTS. Don't get me wrong: if I don't get the job at KPTS, I'll be satisfied with the position I've been offered at the Wichita Eagle.

I can't believe this, though! Two years without much of a possibility, and then one place offers me a job and the next day, another's calling me for an interview! Amazing! I'm totally stoked about this. I mean, I don't want to get my hopes up just to face disappointment again, but what if KPTS offers me a job, too? Well, let's see: part-time work where I'd only use a fraction of my skills, or full-time work where I'd use practically all of them... Which one do you think I'd pick?

Kind of a no-brainer, if you ask me.

In the meantime, I need to get some new dress clothes and shoes, and fill out some paperwork for the Wichita Eagle today. We'll see what happens with KPTS. I'll let you know.

When God answers prayers, he does it in a big way! I'm seeing that now!

Thursday, October 28, 2004


I got a call this afternoon from the Wichita Eagle offering me a part-time position in the Celebrations section! I'll probably start next week, pending the completion of a background check and drug screening. (Better hold off on the poppy seed muffins!) ;)

Around the first part of the year, they're going to cross-train me to fill in for the Obituary section, too, so I can get more hours. The guy who offered said, "if you want more hours." Of course I want more hours! Who wouldn't want more money if they were offered it? I thought to myself.

Thank you to everyone who's been praying for me. Now, hopefully, Ron can finish his schooling (one more semester) without us having to worry as much.

By the way, my section will only show up in the laid-out fashion in print, not online, although you should be able to access the Celebrations section via the Internet. Just click on my link to the Wichita Eagle.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to cover city council meetings for the Eagle anymore. That was a contracted position, and one cannot be an independent contractor and a regular employee for the same company, I guess. I'm letting go of a six-day-a-week job I've held for the last 18 months! Wow!

Once again, thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. I'll still be blogging, so keep coming back!

Resurrected Blog

In light of the fact that some abandoned blogs have been snatched by frauds, I took back my Edited Copy blogspot. On that site, I'm going to post my resume so that those who know of openings in my neck of the woods can see if it's something for which I would be qualified, and also, possible employers can view my resume online and give their comments.

The background is different than the previous one, which looked like a sheet of paper on a blue background, but it works all the same. After I've posted my resume, you can go to this blog address to view it. Keep checking back to see if I've posted it, because I probably won't blog about having posted it.

Mentally Disabled Become Naked Slaves

This story is just too bizarre to leave alone. Police have investigated and arrested a couple who operated two homes for the mentally disabled and found that those they cared for were being forced to perform slave labor in the nude. Here's an exerpt from the KAKE News e-newsletter story (edited for mechanical errors):

"The affidavit lists in detail some of the crimes which a Newton [KS] couple is charged with. They include forcing mentally disabled adults to perform manual labor in the nude without compensation. The report also alleges the Kaufmans took social security payments from the adults and even used a stun gun on an individual's stomach, testicles and feet. The investigation stems from a November 1999 incident in which two disabled adults were found on the Kaufmans' property pulling nails from a board."

Even more shocking are the couple's occupations! Read the story here for the details.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Journalist Finds Hope in Job Search

I had an interview this morning at the Wichita Eagle, the local newspaper (yes, there's only one here). They have a part-time opening for a Celbrations (section) Coordinator. I took my portfolio and my best smile with me this morning, along with the prayers of those who knew about my interview.

It went really well. My interviewer all but handed me the job. He asked me to come in tomorrow to meet the other lady who works in the Celebrations department because he said he doesn't like to hire people without giving them a chance to meet those they'll be working with.

He said he really wished he had someone with my background and experience working in the obituary department, but that the Celebrations job could lead to a full-time position either there or with the obits. I'm hoping that they'll pay me at the top of the pay range for this position, but I'm still hoping for something in a full-time capacity with benefits and better pay yet.

The position is supposed to be filled by the middle of this week, and I'm thinking that there's a pretty good chance I'll be given a job offer tomorrow or Wednesday. Keep those prayers coming!

Friday, October 22, 2004


Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
Okay, I couldn't take it any longer. (Pardon the pun.) I used to have short hair, and I liked it. Long or short looks good on me, but it feels so much better to have short hair. Less time to dry, and much fewer tangles.

I decided a long time ago that since I have naturally blonde hair that's never been colored, and it's thick and healthy, that if I got the chance, I'd donate my hair to Locks of Love. It was time.

With long hair, people would always tell me that I looked like I was about 15 years old. I got carded at the movie theatre for a rated R film! And I got treated like a kid, too. (Some guy at church who didn't know Ron and me saw me hugging him Wednesday evening and said -- as if referring to what I might say-- "I'm so tired, Dad!" Ron and I just gave him a look like "Ron's not my dad!")

I'd had enough! Plus, I have a job interview on Monday, and I want to look professional -- like I know how important it is to take care of myself, that it means a lot to me to be well-groomed.

So here I am in my before picture, just so you can see how long it was. The half-smirk shows how unhappy I was with it.


Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
Tah dah!

My new profile!

Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
Okay, so tell me honestly. Do you like it? I sure do! No more getting in my way, getting tangled, or being pinned to the couch when Ron has his arm around me!

It's a wash-and-go hairstyle, and I got it for free when I donated my hair. It's part of the Locks of Love promise!

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Because someone has taken Tentatio's abandoned blog, and I know it's not him, I've removed the link to his former blog. The same is happening to many abandoned blogs, so be careful if you abandon yours at any time.

A Brand New Lutheran

Rob and Devona have finally had their baby. Rob managed to sneak away from the hospital long enough to post a picture of their new daughter and a brief writeup of her newborn statistics (weight, length, time of birth, etc.) on their blog.

May God bless their new family!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A Clearer Vision for the Future

It turns out that not as many people are dyslexic as one would think. I was surprised when at my eye appointment yesterday, my doctor told me that one of the tests he had done disclosed to him the fact that I have a problem with my visual convergence, meaning that my eyes see things differently than other people's.

He's aparently only one of about four doctors in Kansas who's certified in this area, but it's because he has experience with it, himself. This is what I'm talking about:

When reading something, I frequently get tired, lose my place, skip lines and don't have good comprehension of what I've read, not to mention the fact that it takes me forever because I read one word at a time and "hear" myself reading it in my mind. But that's the only way I can get any comprehension of what I'm reading at all.

I thought I was partially dyslexic, because that's what a doctor told my dad was wrong with him. My dad is a very poor reader, but whether it's dyslexia or the problem I have (which, by the way, is genetic), I don't know.

The good news is that it can be fixed. I was sent to a doctor today that specializes in vision therapy. She sent me home with a home-based kit that's supposed to help about 60-75% of the people who use it. If that doesn't work, in-office therapy works about 96% of the time, she said.

As if one could guess, this isn't covered by most insurance companies; they just aren't as "with it" as they need to be.

It's especially important for me to try to fix my problem because #1, I'm a graduate student who's doing a lot of reading for comprehension and application purposes, and #2 because I'm a journalist, more specifically a journalist trained to be a copy editor.

I'm putting this on my blog because this is a problem that so many people have but don't know they have, partially because many eye doctors aren't certified and don't know how to check for this kind of problem. It's easier if it's caught when you're a child, but doesn't take as long to correct as an adult, if that makes any sense to you.

This isn't a mental problem or a reading problem, but a vision problem, and it's treatable within less than six months, in most cases. So if you're having some of the same problems that I am, ask your doctor if he/she can test you for it.

I'll keep you posted on my progress, too, so you can know how it's working for me. Bonus: I get to wear cool 3-D glasses to do the exercises!

Should This Man Go Free?

In 1990, a 9-year-old girl named Nancy was kidnapped when she walked across the street to a gas station to buy a bottle of pop. She was found weeks later, having been raped and killed. Why do I remember this so well? She was the same age as me, or just slightly younger.

Now, the man who was convicted of the crime 14 years ago is up for parole for the second time. The first time he was up for parole, Nancy's family circulated a petition to keep him in prison, and his parole was denied. Now, both Nancy's family and the family of the accused have petitions going around: Nancy's family's is to keep her accused killer in prison, and his family's is to allow him to go free. They say the wrong person was accused and locked up.

This is another story that should have been more carefully edited, but it's a lot better than the last one I posted that I said needed editing. You can read it here. What do you think? Should he go free or be sent back to prison?

I personally believe that this man is guilty and should not be set free unless he is given extensive counseling and made to report himself as a child abuser and sexual offender.

Wichita Aircraft Company is Up for Sale

Two years ago, more than 30, 000 Wichitans lost their jobs in the aircraft industry. Countless others were also lost because of the crashing economy. Many people lost their homes, went bankrupt or went into deep financial difficulties (like my husband and me), and hundreds left Wichita hoping to find better opportunities elsewhere.

Now that the economy is recovering again (slowly), there are several places that are hiring again, but because there are so many people looking and competing for jobs, the employers can raise their standards and have their pick from the dozens (at least) of applicants. This is true of not only the aircraft positions that have opened up, but it has also filtered into other industries, such as my own: print journalism. For the majority of the positions that are now available, one must posess some kind of degree (I have a BA) and at least five years of experience. Now, for a lot of people, that isn't a problem, but for me, it is. I graduated from high school in 1999. Though I have the education, it's not enough for most employers, and they'll choose someone else who has more experience. So how do I get the experience if no one will hire me?

Now, people are concerned that more people will lose their jobs in the aircraft industry. According to KAKE (an ABC affiliate), Boeing Wichita is up for sale. A memo was sent over company e-mail that raised more questions than it answered, and since not everyone has company e-mail addresses, not everyone has seen it yet.

Now that I'm looking for work again, I'm wondering how much more saturated the market is going to get with others looking for work. And to top that off, in December, there will be more college graduates for me to compete against, some with more experience than I have.

Some people (like us) can't afford to move, even if we wanted to. There may be great jobs elsewhere, but if they don't cover relocation expenses, it wouldn't work.

By the way, no word yet on my job possibility. I'm still waiting for a call to set up an interview time. I was told it would be sometime this week. I'm optimistic, but like I said, there's going to be a lot of competition for this job since so many people are looking. Please pray that they pick me out of the bunch to work for them.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


I got a great new book a few days ago called "Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print". It's about articles written for newspapers or magazines that were "killed" or scrapped for one reason or another.

In some cases, stories were killed because the publishers didn't want to offend the advertisers. Then, they paid for scrapping the stories when another publisher paid the author more money and ran the articles. What justice!

Some of the stories go back to 1942. The most recent included in the book were from 2003.

Here's a list of some of the publications that killed perfectly good stories for political or advertising or other reasons:

Vanity Fair
The Washington Post Magazine
The New York Times Magazine
The New Yorker
Rolling Stone
Detroit Free Press

One of the stories that I look forward to reading is called "The Clinton Legacy and America." Another one is "The Lay-Z-Boy Position", whatever that is.

It's 428 pages of interesting articles that never made it to press, and I might even get adventuresome and share some excerpts with you!

For instance, in the introduction, David Wallis, the editor, says, "In 1997, Playboy pulled Glenn O'Brien's piece, 'How to Pick Up Princess Di,' which was filed days before her fatal accident." What if that had actually been printed just before her accident? That could have been a really bad faux paux.

Okay, I know. I'm kind of a nerd for getting a journalism book instead of a good mystery or romance or something. OH WELL!! I don't like those books as well! If my hubby, the Terrible Swede, can get math, physics and chess books to read for fun, I can get books about journalism! He, he!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

A Great Way to Rebel

Lots of teenagers get tatoos as a way to rebel against their parents, but not many get tatoos that spark the kind of reactions that Devona has after she and her husband posted a picture of a rather large tatoo that she has on the small of her back. And she's six days past due with their first baby.

I've never gotten any tatoos or weird piercings... I've pretty much been a square, doing everything I was supposed to without rebelling much at all. I guess some people could call me boring. But I've had lots of other things done that most people don't. The 17 foot surgeries are more than enough pain for me to have gone through in one lifetime.

But Devona is also a brave woman. She's got four tatoos, and the one I referred to in the first sentence is my personal favorite. Of course, most Lutherans should be able to appreciate it just as much as I do. Check it out!

Monday, October 11, 2004

With the Elections Coming, Remember This

I was able to watch the Presidential Debate on Friday. This was the first debate I've been able to watch. Every evening, I've got something going on, but Friday was free. I think most people could agree (I don't care what media "professionals" say) that Bush won. He pounded Kerry on just about every single point. Sure, Kerry said something smart every once in a while, but he couldn't give a single answer without referring to his opponent. Most of the time, he didn't answer the questions posed. In Bush's retorts, he came back at Kerry and answered the questions asked.

There are just certain things I look for when considering my vote. I was able to vote for president for the first time when Bush and Gore were going at it in 2000. Of course, this was before the terrorists took out the twin towers and a big chunk of the Pentagon. Now, one of my greatest concerns is who will do the most to keep me safe. I want someone in office who's trustworthy. I don't want to hear something one day that I agree with just to hear one or two days later that the whole plan has changed because our leader has changed his mind. Again. I can't trust someone who's always changing his mind!

Also, in light of recent events, I need to make sure that whoever ends up in office is going to do everything in his power to protect this country from further attacks. I (and you should, too) have had to ask myself, "Who would the terrorists want to be the next president of the U.S.?" Of course, they'd want someone whose policies toward terrorism were more relaxed. Which of the candidates fits that profile? That's not who we want!

Some of my newer readers might not have seen the post I wrote in June about America basically being under constant attack by terrorists since 1979, so I've decided to repost the text of the speech that I referred to in that post, just to make us think a little more about the elections coming up and who we really want to be in office for the next four years.

This speech was given by U.S. Navy Captain Ouimette, the Executive Officer at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.

Here it is:


That's what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 (When more than 3,000 Americans were killed ) and maybe it was, but I think it should  have been "Get Out of Bed!" In fact, I think the alarm clock has been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since then.

It was a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through a religious and political upheaval when a group of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure was an outright attack on American soil; it was an attack that held the world's most  powerful country hostage and paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on this sovereign U. S. embassy set the stage for events to follow for the next 23 years.

America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Vietnam experience and had a serious threat from the Soviet Union when then-President Carter had to do something. He chose to conduct a clandestine raid in the desert. The ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a symbol of America's inability to deal with terrorism.

America's military had been decimated and down-sized/right-sized since the end of the Vietnam War. A poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly organized military was called on to execute a complex mission that was doomed from the start.

Shortly after the Tehran experience, Americans began to be kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East. America could do little to
protect her citizens living and working abroad. The attacks against US soil continued.

In April of 1983, a large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut. When it exploded, it killed 63 people. The alarm went off again and America hit the Snooze Button once more.

Then just six short months later, a large truck, heavily laden down with over 2,500 pounds of TNT, smashes through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut and 241 US servicemen are killed. America mourns her dead and hits the Snooze Button once more.

Two months later in December 1983, another truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait, and America continues her slumber.

The following year, in September 1984, another van was driven into the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut, and America slept.

Soon the terrorism spreads to Europe. In April 1985, a bomb explodes in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid.
Then in August, a Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main; 22 are killed and the
snooze alarm is buzzing louder and louder as US interests are continually attacked.

Fifty-nine days later, a cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, is hijacked and we watched as an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the
passenger list and executed.

The terrorists then shift their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they bomb TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986 that killed 4, and the
most tragic bombing, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 259.

Clinton treated these terrorist acts as crimes; in fact, we are still trying to bring these people to trial. These are acts of war. The wake-up alarm is getting louder and louder.

The terrorists decide to bring the fight to America. In January 1993, two CIA agents are shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists are arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people are killed and over 1000 are injured. Still, this is a crime and not an act of war? The Snooze alarm is depressed again.

Then in November 1995, a car bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing seven service men and women.

A few months later in June of 1996, another truck bomb explodes only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It destroys the Khobar Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500. (*Editor's note: Ron predicted that these living quarters were prime targets when he was there in 1991. He mentioned the possible threat, and no one listened.)

The terrorists are getting braver and smarter as they see that America does not respond decisively. They move to coordinate their attacks in a simultaneous attack on two US  embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These attacks were planned with precision. They kill 224. America responds with cruise missile attacks
and goes back to sleep.

The USS Cole was docked in the port of Aden, Yemen, for refueling on 12 October 2000, when a small craft pulled along side the ship and exploded, killing 17 US Navy Sailors. Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war, but we sent the FBI to investigate the crime and went back to sleep.

And, of course, you know the events of 11 September 2001. Most Americans think this was the first attack against US soil or in America. How wrong they are. America has been under a constant attack since 1979 and we chose to hit the snooze alarm and roll over and go back to sleep.

In the news lately, we have seen lots of finger pointing from every high official in government over what they knew and what they didn't know. But if you've read the papers and paid a little attention, I think you can see exactly what they knew. You don't have to be in the FBI or CIA or on the National Security Council to see the pattern that has been developing since 1979.

Our President is right on when he says we are engaged in a war. I think we have been in a war for the past 23 years and it will continue until we, as a people, decide enough is enough.

America needs to "Get out of Bed" and act decisively now. America has been changed forever. We have to be ready to pay the price and make the
sacrifice to ensure our way of life continues. We cannot afford to keep hitting the snooze button again and again and rolling over and going back to

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said " seems all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant."  This is the message we need to disseminate to terrorists around the world.

Support Our Troops and support President Bush for having the courage, political or militarily, to address what so many who preceded him didn't have the backbone to do, both Democrat and Republican. This is not a political thing to be hashed over in an election year; this is an AMERICAN thing. This is about our Freedom and the Freedom of our children and grandchildren in years to come.

Please forward this, especially to the young people and all those who dozed off in history class and who seem so quick to protest such a
necessary military action.

If God is your Co-Pilot---Change seats!

Friday, October 01, 2004

We're So In Love!

We're So In Love!
Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
This picture was taken at our wedding reception a little over two years ago. Don't we look great together?!

My grandma made my dress. She had it sewn up for me in a week! Ron's youngest sister made our wedding cake for us -- the BEST I've ever had!

And yes, that is a carpeted wall behind us. Our reception was at the University Lutheran Center, Wichita State University, a building built in the 1970s. That's where Ron and I met!!

Testing a new photoblogger

Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
This picture was from our trip to Oregon this last January when we visited Ron's parents. The very next day, there was a huge ice storm that closed the Portland airport for about three days -- the longest it had been closed in history.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

BTK Gets International Attention

Thirty years ago, a notorious serial killer terrorized the entire city of Wichita. His killing spree included whole families, single women... It seemed there wasn't anyone who was safe. Just this year, however, he has reappeared; not in the form of a killer on the loose, but in the form of someone giving clues to the police and media outlets as to who he is and why he did what he did.

They called him BTK because of the way he tortured his victims. He would Bind, Torture and then Kill them. No one has been able to catch him. It is suspected that since he disappeared for 30 years he might have been incarcerated somewhere for some crime that he wasn't so lucky to not be caught at. But no one is sure.

All of a sudden, a British film crew decided to come to Wichita to do a documentary on the notorious killer, and they brought a psychic medium to help shed some light on the case for Wichita police.

You can read more about the story from KAKE TV's badly-in-need-of-editing story that they posted on their website by clicking here. Video is supposed to be included, but I don't have time to look at it to see if it works. Hopefully it does.

Bonus points to those who can list some of the items that need to be edited from the story.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


I had an appointment with my orthopaedic doctor this morning. A nurse removed my cast, then I had some x-rays taken. When I saw my doctor, he looked over my x-rays and said that I'm healing "pretty darn quickly" and that I didn't need to be recasted. he said I could go ahead and go into a cam walker (air boot) today! I'll have to wear it for three weeks before I can ease myself into shoes, but it's finally something I can take off! The first thing I did when I got home: shaved two months worth of hair off my leg.

On the job possibility, I still haven't heard anything. I called Friday and left a message on voicemail for the lady who's hiring. Nothing. I called back yesterday and left another message, then asked the receptionist when the lady would be available, and she said she wouldn't be back until next week. I hope the job is still available; I haven't had an interview yet!

Keep the prayers coming!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Job Possibility on the Horizon

Yesterday, the Wichita Eagle hosted a Career Expo downtown. Since I'm in the market for a full-time job, I went, knowing that this would be the best opportunity I'd have for a long while to connect face-to-face with employers who are hiring NOW.

It was one of the last booths I visited: KPTS, a public television station in Wichita. The man behind the table had laid out two job descriptions. One of them caught my eye: Publications Editor.

I read over the job description and requirements, noticing that whomever they choose to fill the position must have a college/university degree and two years of experience, or a combination of education and experience. Hmmm... I've done almost everything on the job description in one capacity or another, and I've got a degree that's specific to print publications, and I've concentrated almost exclusively in editing.

I got out a copy of my resume and handed it to the man behind the table and said, "I'm your person!" He asked me for what position. I showed him the description and told him it was for the Publications Editor position. He looked over my resume and complimented me on it, then said that he wouldn't be surprised if I got a call later this week for an interview! He said the Marketing Director is doing the work of two people right now and they need someone to start immediately. I said, "Well, if you call me tomorrow, I'll be there!" He handed me an application, I filled it out and handed it back to him, taking his business card so I'd know who I'd talked to.

Please pray that I get this job. I've been searching for more than two years for gainful employment. My six day a month contracting job for the Eagle just isn't enough, and Ron and I could really use the income. I don't even want to think of what's going to happen if this job, like the five others I was previously offered, falls through. The last five places dropped the positions they were hiring for altogether because they ran out of funds and couldn't pay anyone.

Ron and I need your prayers now more than ever.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Mormon Complains about Christian Bible Study

At Washburn University, a public Kansas university in Topeka, a Mormon student was told that he could not lead a Bible study because he could not subscribe to the Christian association's beliefs that the Bible is the only holy inspired word of God. He complained to the university that the Christian group was discriminating against him on the basis of religion, and the university discontinued the group's subsidy and denied them a meeting place.

First of all, the university was playing politics. Second, in an effort to be open-minded, their brains fell out on the floor. If someone who isn't a Christian says he wants to lead a "Christian" Bible study, you have to raise flags! The Christian association involved has decided to file a lawsuit, saying that Christian groups have a right to discriminate on the basis of religion.

The student told NPR that he had offered to lead the study because he had experience as a missionary from his "church." When the sponsor of the group found out that the student was a Mormon, he told the student that he could not deliver the Bible study.

I don't know how Mormons can call themselves Christian. They are so obviously not Christians. Anyone who believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers who quarrelled for control of the world and that those humans who couldn't decide which one to follow were cursed with dark skin, are out of their minds! If they believe that any part of the Bible is true at all, they should be able to read enough and understand enough to know that these are lies! They go way beyond what any Christian body would believe.

In high school, I knew several students who were Mormons. One told me one time that she looked forward to "Heaven" because she could have horns, a tail and be eternally pregnant on her husband's planet/kingdom. I just smiled and nodded and said, "Okay!"

Did you know that the movie "The God-Makers," which exposes Mormonism for what it really is, is banned by the Mormon "church" so that its members will never know the whole truth? Ask any Mormon if they've seen it. They'll tell you they can't watch it. Or won't.

I think the Christian organization should have the right to discriminate on the basis of religion, if they plan to remain a part of the university and be listed among its organizations, which it doesn't have to do. I understand that it meets on public university grounds, but the university was started by Bible-thumpers, and I think that those Bible-thumpers are thumping their own kind. If need be, the group can have fundraisers to pay for a facility; I'm not entirely sure why a public university would fund a religious organization in the first place. That way, the group could discriminate between Christians and non-Christians.

We hear that if we're not open-minded, we're hard or we're unloving. I counter by saying, like I did above, that if you're too open-minded, your brains are going to fall out and get trampled on by every liberal foot that comes along, and you'll have no defense. If, at such a time, you try to defend yourself, you'll be counted as a hyppocrite. It's always best to stick to what the Bible says and not pray with pagans. Unless you're Benke. Then it's "okay to pray." NOT!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

New Blog Up and Running!

Just so everyone can have a chance to look and see for themselves (or make suggestions -- or purchases), I would like to introduce my new beauty blog, Cosmetic Charisma. The link is on my sidebar directly under my link to my Mary Kay personal website.

I suggest that all women who have skin look at it, and all men who want to get on the good side of the women in their lives consider how wonderful their lives might be if they did something to help/compliment those women. (Face it, if the wife or girlfriend isn't happy, nobody is happy!) Men might even find some personal benefit, including new colognes and other items that will make them more attractive!

Any suggestions on how I might improve this website, or questions about specific problems or products are appreciated. This is going to be a lot of fun!

Monday, September 13, 2004

True Prayer that Offends

I got an e-mail from a good friend of mine today about a pastor who opened a session of the Kansas Senate with a prayer. He seems to have hit a lot of sore spots, seeing as a number of senators walked out during the invocation (which is what a prayer is called at the beginning of a government meeting).

Here is the text of the e-mail and prayer:

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call it Pluralism. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!"

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one nation under God."

It makes you think, doesn't it? I think that was exactly what some people needed to hear but didn't want to because they knew they were guilty and didn't want to acknowledge it, especially in a place where they usually make decisions about those things to which the pastor was speaking. They didn't know what to think, so they just got mad and left. Good for them. Maybe they had time to search their hearts and minds and let God work on them.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

For My 24th Birthday

Some of my favorite things happened today:

I got to sing the introit in church this morning as the cantor, something I've gotten fond of doing, and Ron said it was probably the best job I've ever done.

My mom had a strawberry shortcake with LOTS of strawberries as a birthday cake for me. I love anything strawberry, especially real strawberries.

I got to go shopping with birthday money for a new outfit.

And, to top it off, Ron took me to the movie of my choice tonight: "The Notebook." It's a fabulous romance story, and if you haven't seen it, you should. It's not often I get to choose the movie we see, but today was a special occasion. Thank you to all who made my birthday so great, especially my husband. I love you, Ron.

13 Days Only!!!

September 13, this Monday is Mary Kay's 41st anniversary and you get to take advantage of it.

This is all you have to do: Visit my Mary Kay website sometime during the next 24 hours or email me, order at least $13 and get a free gift.

Because this is my 24th birthday, anyone who places an order on my website within 24 hours (by 10 p.m. CDT on Sept. 13) will get a better free gift with a purchase of $24 or more.

Order at least $40 and get a cute little spa set with all 4 fragrance samples or just visit my website and order whatever you like.

Just remember, it must be at least $13.

If you call and I do not answer the phone, please leave a message!!!!

Have FUN shopping!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Beauty and the Makeover

After much deliberation, I have decided to create a blog dedicated to helping people with makeup and beauty advice. Of course, I am biased since I represent America's #1 Best-Selling brand of cosmetics on the market. (If you don't believe me, check it out! Go to my website and click the link for more / company information.) After four years of being an Independent Beauty Consultant, I have learned a lot about what kind of makeup and skin care products work and what doesn't. Mary Kay is the ONLY cosmetics company that can provide picture proof that its products really work.

Mary Kay is the only cosmetics and skin care line out there that literally makes women look and stay looking younger longer. My mom is in her 50s, but thanks to Mary Kay, which she's been using for more than 30 years, she could easily pass for a 40-year-old. Part of it is good genes, I'll give you that, but Mary Kay has kept her from getting wrinkles. Imagine that! Being more than 50 years old with NO wrinkles at all on your face!

Consider this also: How many cosmetics and skin care companies will tell you that you can try every single one of its products to see if you like it or if (God forbid) you have an allergic reaction to it so you can try something else? Mary Kay does. How many companies tell you that even after you've sampled their products, you can return the products for an exchange or full money-back guarantee if you don't like it, if it doesn't look good, or you, in fact, do end up reacting to it? Mary Kay gives that guarantee on ALL of its products.

With Mary Kay, you have a personal consultant whom you can call anytime if you have questions. Our mission is to show our customers how to apply the skin care and cosmetic producs so that they can do it themselves. We guide them in makeup tips so they look the best they can. Most consultants keep an extensive inventory so we can be assured that the day a customer (new or old) orders products, we can deliver them the same day or next, barring being out of a certain product at the time it is ordered. This, however, can easily be solved in just a day or two.

Anyway, the point of my beauty blog will be to showcase my products and, at the same time, compare them to other products that are out on the market. Any questions will be promptly addressed and answered. As soon as my husband and I figure out whether Photoblogger works for Macs, and when it does, I will provide pictures of the products I sell, as well as those from other brands that I wish to make comparisons about, and (with the permission of my customers) provide the picture proof that I spoke of earlier.

Look for a link to this blog on this site, coming soon. (First, I have to create the site.)


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

How Do You Comfort a Non-Christian?

My family and I have been friends with a Muslim family from Kuwait since about 1991 or so. They are just about as staunch in their beliefs as we are in ours.

We've invited each other to family weddings and other get-togethers, and have had a lot of fun together. The youngest daughter in their family is only one year younger than me. She got married in 2001, I think, or early 2002, and just recently had a baby. She and her family are really hurting now, though.

About a week ago, the mother had to undergo brain surgery to remove a benign, but growing tumor. The neurologists (including the daughter's husband, who practices in Texas) said that the most they could expect of complications might be some numbness in part of the mother's face or on one side of her body, and other side-effects similar to that. But now, it seems, there may be much more to it than that.

The mother woke up fine after surgery, but her brain quickly started swelling. Fluid was being drained off her brain. The doctor gave her medicine to induce a coma so she could heal, but they're not sure she'll regain consciousness. Internal bleeding started, and it's too deep to do anything. The coma medicine has worn off by now, and they're waiting for a doctor to do a final diagnosis. If she's found to be brain-dead, they'll have to unhook her from life support.

Now, I know that since she never accepted Christianity, but held to her Muslim beliefs that Jesus was merely a prophet and that her salvation depended on her husband, that she's not going to go to heaven if and when she dies. But how am I supposed to comfort her daughter? She's a close friend, and her family is like family to me and my family.

All I could think to say to her was that I was so sorry for her and that I was praying for her mom and the whole family. I mean, I know my prayer will be answered because I pray to the One True God. They don't. But answered prayer is not necessarily a prayer that is answered in the way you want. She may still die today. And that makes me very, very sad!

What am I supposed to say or do to make this grieving family feel comforted? I'm at a loss. All I can do is show them the love of a Christian, but I don't feel like that's enough.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

To My Husband of Two Years

Happy Anniversary, my love. Every day that goes by is another that God has given me to celebrate with you. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make my world a better place. Every day with you is one more day I sing. I love you!

Monday, August 30, 2004

In Honor of Our Second Anniversary, Part 2

We never did set a date to get married. The following summer, I had taken an internship in northcentral Kansas at a newspaper. I came back just about every weekend to spend time with Ron. Oh, and my family, too. But by this time, I was having trouble being around my family too much. I just didn't feel like I fit in with them anymore. I'd had a taste of freedom from them, and I started getting sick in my stomach when I thought of moving back in with them at the end of the summer.

I still couldn't find work in or around Wichita, so I couldn't afford to move out on my own. But I couldn't stand the thought of moving back with my parents. So one warm evening at the end of July, Ron and I were talking on the phone about my situation. He said, "We still haven't set a date for our wedding. Why don't we just get married?" It made sense. We were ready. He had a great job and was making enough money to support both of us. "We'll do it over Labor Day weekend," we decided.

On July 31, Ron called me and said, "Okay, I've talked to Pastor Hoger and reserved the church. We're getting married on August 31."

"But that only gives us 31 days to plan the wedding!"

"That's Labor Day weekend," he said.

I called my best friends and asked them to be my bridesmaids. I called my grandma and asked her to make my dress. Ron's youngest sister, Josie, decided that she would make our wedding cake as a gift for our wedding, and bring the layers down in crates from Wisconsin.

The month flew by. Ron and I made our own invitations and all the arrangements, and I put all of the bouquets and corsages together in five hours while sitting on the floor of my parents' living room. My grandma had my dress sewn together in one week! All I had to do was visit her for a final fitting.

Ron and I paid for everything. My mom was really upset that she didn't get to do much with me to plan the wedding, and that we didn't have much time to do a lot together. I wish we could have, but I knew that if I gave my parents the opportunity to do much, they would insist on doing things more their way than ours.

My sister, two girlfriends and my mom and I all went to the mall on the east side of town looking for the perfect bridesmaids dresses. We got the best deal we could have ever gotten. Von Maur had just opened. It's a very classy department store where almost everything is overpriced. But downstairs, we found one dress that was just the perfect color and style for my wedding. But there was only one. My sister and two bridesmaids tried it on, and it looked great! The sales lady called a couple of stores in other states, found the same dress at each, and had the dresses sent to my bridesmaids' doors for nothing. The best part: the dresses were originally about $160, but were on sale for $38 apiece! It was meant to be!

The wedding was beautiful. My dress was gorgeous; Grandma did a wonderful job. We even had everyone lined up on the steps outside the church after the wedding, and they blew bubbles at us as Ron and I stepped down to the truck. Everyone was so very happy for us, and we were so very extremely happy.

And even though Ron was laid off from his wonderful-paying job six months after we got married, we've managed to remain happy together, in spite of financial difficulty.

Two years have gone by since we got married. Some have asked when we're going to start a family. We just tell them that this is not the right time to start a family; we need to be able to take care of us first, get a place to live where we would actually have room for more than just one of us, be able to buy clothes once in a while, etc. (The apartment we live in is meant for just one person, not two.)

We have the rest of our lives together, and when it's the right time, God will allow us to conceive and give life to a new generation of Olsons. Until then, we're giving thanks to God for giving us the years he has and for all the years he will give us together in the future.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

In Honor of Our Second Anniversary, Part 1

I have decided to share with all of you the story of how Ron and I started our relationship. It's a really interesting story, considering how long we knew each other before we started dating and what we thought of each other prior to our first date. Our second wedding anniversary is Tuesday, August 31.

Ron and I had both started attending the University Lutheran Center's Sunday night Bible studies in the summer of 1999, although he was there a couple of months before me. He was the peer minister, in charge of organizing Bible studies, delivering them, and talking to those who attended regularly about events that were happening at the LCMS churches in town.

In the first part of March, 2000, we went with others from the Kansas District LSF (Lutheran Student Fellowship - a group of college students) to a retreat center in northern Kansas. The guy I and one other person had ridden with was the campus missionary, and he had to leave to come back early. (I think it was to meet up with his girlfriend.)

While we were there, I got really sick. One of the pastors there took me to the hospital in the closest town. It didn't do any good; no doctors or nurses ever helped me in the four hours I was there. It took them two hours to get me into a room, and I waited in the room for two hours before walking out on my own.

I was feeling well enough to return to the group at the retreat, but still had a sensitive stomach. Since my ride was gone, I had to travel back with someone else. Ron graciously allowed me to ride back with him. The whole trip, he said he was thinking, "Please don't throw up in my truck." I was thinking, "Please don't throw up in his truck." Finally, we made it back to my parents' house without incident.

Then in October of the same year (2000), Ron called my house to ask me something that I thought he was calling to ask everyone else since he was the Peer Minister. He said that Holy Cross Lutheran was going to be having a Reformation Banquet at the end of the month and he was wondering if I'd be interested in going.

"Hmmm..., " I thought. "I've never been to a Reformation Banquet before. It could be fun. Sure," I said. "When and where are we meeting?" Because, like I said before, I was certain he was calling everyone.

"Well, can I ... pick you up?" he said.

I paused for a while. "Yeah, sure. I guess so." I mean, he already knew where I lived.

On October 28, Ron showed up at my parents' front door wearing a dress shirt, a tie and dress pants, and carrying a small bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates. Ding! The bell in my blonde head finally rang! He had asked me out on a date and I hadn't realized that that's what I had agreed to. Oh, well, I thought. Why not?

We travelled across town to Holy Cross, talking all the way, and when we got there, we sang silly German songs, ate German food, and visited with lots of people. We had a great time. We talked more on the way back to my parents' house, realizing that we had a lot in common with one another and also that we could learn a lot from one another.

Before this date, Ron and I were merely acquaintances. I thought he was way too serious, and he (told me months later that he) thought I was just another ditzy blonde. But while on our date, I realized that he could actually relax and be fun, and he realized that there was a lot more to this blonde woman than he had previously thought. We were both pleasantly surprised.

After he dropped me off at home, we talked a while longer, and said good night. He didn't get far from the door before he came back and asked me out on a second date! Wow! This turned out better than I had imagined.

We kept going out on dates, and about one month later, I was sitting down with my mom in the living room, talking about Ron, and I told my mom, "Don't freak out, but I have a feeling that eventually, Ron's going to ask me to marry him." It stopped my mom in her tracks. She asked me how I knew, but I wasn't sure. I just "knew".

Ron and I dated for a year, after having known each other for a year before that, when he proposed. He put my engagement ring in a bowl of tappioca pudding, and I almost ate it! When I pulled it out of my mouth, he knelt down beside me and told me how much I meant to him and how he never wanted to know life without me by his side. I cried a little, and he put the ring on my finger. That was on October 27, 2001, one day short of our one year dating anniversary.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Schizophrenic Public

It was an amazing breakthrough during a class discussion tonight. Even though a great number of people believe that the media are biased in their approach to reporting the news, they still depend on the media for their news and infrequently triangulate the information they receive to make sure it's accurate.

It is possible for people to check a number of different sources to make sure that the information they receive is accurate and covers all the angles, but what are the chances they will actually do that? Not good.

This is why we as the media strive to give an unbiased view of the news we report. Although not always very easy, especially in the midst of controversy, it is necessary to do the best we can to give a balanced view of the news we report.

Even editors struggle with this: We are given a piece of literature to edit for content and must be sure to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, but we must also be on the lookout for news that appears unbalanced. If it appears that a reporter's biases are revealed in the article submitted, we, as copy editors, must find the truth and correct the article to reflect that truth. Sometimes this must come at the expense of the pride of the author, but constructive criticism is good for people. I know I appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Not that you really care...

I just got the pins taken out of my big toe this morning, and it didn't hurt! There were two of them, and they used a pliers to first twist them and then pull them out. Since there aren't any nerve endings in the bones, I barely felt anything besides a little something gliding across my skin.

I had to have another non-weightbearing cast put on. This cast should last four weeks, but after two, I can start putting weight on it like a walking cast. Then, I'll have one final cast (another walking cast, of course) and then an aircast, or walking boot. Long story short: I've got another six weeks in a cast; it's already been four weeks since my surgery.

The company my doctor's office gets its cast supplies from has changed the colors somewhat. I asked for pink because (1) I haven't had that color since fifth grade and (2) because I figured it would be a cool way to advertize my Mary Kay business. The GREAT thing about this cast is that it's not neon pink, but soft, baby pink or Mary Kay pink! It won't stand out so much and I can wear it with more clothes without a major clash (as if they existed anymore). (I'm also using it as an ice-breaker by having written "I'm YOUR Mary Kay Lady! Call me!" on the bottom of the foot of the cast. Hey, why not?)

I've already gotten a few compliments on the nice color today. I went with my mom to Dillons so she could get a few grocery items, and a young girl and a middle-aged man both said they liked the color! How 'bout that!

I'm also starting my job search again since I don't have to have my foot elevated so much anymore. If you know of anything in the Wichita, KS, area, let me know! (Nothing that requires standing on your feet; in other words, desk work. Full-time, great benefits and pay a major plus.)

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Interesting Grad School Topic

I just started my second semester of graduate school at Wichita State University and am taking just one class: COMM 770: The Audience. According to the course description, "This course examines the emerging field of interactive audience studies..." One thing we're going to be talking about is BLOGGING!!

When my professor asked if anyone had ever heard of a blog, I confidently rose my hand as the only one in the class to say "Yes, and I even have a blog."

"You do?"

"Yes. Actually, it's my second one."

Everyone else just looked at me like, "You not only know what a blog is, but you have one, too? Who are you?"

Yeah, I may look younger than everyone else in my class; I may actually even be younger, but I feel like I already have a good handle on where we're headed because I've been in the blogosphere for a little while and know what it's about.

Thank you, also, to all those who showed me what blogging was all about and how much fun it could be. You know who you are because you're on my blogroll.

Thank you, all you wonderful people! I love my public!