Posts

Showing posts from 2008

Smart Pumpkin

Image
We had the fun and excitement of pumpkin-carving this past weekend. Of our two pumpkins bought at the now traditional pumpkin spot about five miles south in Whiteland, one became a smiling ghost. The other takes on a civic duty and preaches a good message: "Vote Obama 08." Well said, smart pumpkin. Originally, we were going to create a work that would have rivaled the magnificance of Michaelo's masterpiece - the Palin pumpkin. We'd stencil her face on the pumpkin, and then of course add an ever-so-fitting witch hat. Nearby, we'd have a button that says, "Lipstick and pitbull sold separately." Thought that was pretty clever, but it was later determined we non-Palin folk must be "anti-American" as we seemed to lack the skill to perfect the stencil-pumpkin work. Plus, it might very well scare the kids away from our porch come trick-or-treat time. So, the voting encouragement won the battle and became engraved on our pumpkin. It beats out the pesk

Concerns

We are in the final month of a presidential campaign season, and it's apparent we all have concerns about how it'll all turn out. A common thread thought among reasonable people is that we need change - how we'll see that needed change is largely what's being debated. A frequent comment I hear is that the future is about tomorrow and our children's tomorrows. I'd concur. But would also note that without an adequate today and tomorrow, there won't be an adequate line of tomorrows for our future generations. I worry that my children won't be able to attend any kind of protest in the future. If they happen to speak out in disagreement about a policy issue or war, they might be deemed "unpatriotic" and locked up. Or, if in sitting in a church where someone says something against the mainstream, if they don't leave, they might someday be questioned about their patriotism and judgement. That's not my view of what a free society, with free

Ruth's Inspiration

The shortest Bible story so far is by far one I've found the most inspiration from: Book of Ruth. A stranger who somehow seemed to have stumbled into faith accidentally, doing what's asked of her and then telling someone what exactly she wants. That leads to her marriage and son, and her ultimately role turning out to be the great-grandmother of David and an ancestor of Jesus. Nice. No coincidences, we're all part of a grand scheme and there's a reason for everything. All of us matter, no matter how or when in life we embrace our destiny. That's an inspirational lesson in faith.

The Great Flood of 2008

We survived, but much of our home county is under water. Estimates are in: $126 million in damage from the Great Flood 2008, on June 7. History-making that puts into everyone's mind why there actually is a phrase known as "100-year flood." This was Indiana's. As I reported before, we didn't get any serious flooding or damage from the four-part series of storms that hit Central Indiana starting May 30. First, it was the northside and eastside of Indy that got hit by tornadoes and high winds. Then the southern part of our county and a military base, Camp Atterbury. Then, that same area in southern Johnson County and the community where I used to work - hit very hard. I'd noted that our neighborhood escaped most flooding, whch is true. But I wasn't aware of some flooding that actually did happen and looked bad - (thanks to Trish for the photo updates on her blog!). Suzi took some pics also, and I'll add those later. Anyhow, we're now more thankful

Mumbles Returns

It seems a sequel is in the works. While not an official version of Stephen King's great horror flick "Misery," that could be a subtitle for my now-in-production production of "Mumbles Returns." You may recall this first blog exclusive story in Summer 2006. Well, here it is two years later. Hoskins is just like Hollywood. Now, understand: This is a story of my own making. Stupid, stupid, making. Pain hasn't yet begun, but I can tell it's on the way. Just like before, a little white abcess has formed on my inside gum near the bottom of my tooth. This time unlike last, I've already had a root canal on that tooth. But because of cost and dental coverage limitations, the final cap of that canal procedure never came to find its way into my mouth. So, over the course of the past 18 months, it's been left open. Bacteria has found its way in. Decay has come to be. Now, the abcess that was on the left side of my mouth two years ago is now on the right.

Mutt Strutted Out

Image
We took Riley out for the adventurous Mutt Strutt 2008, put on by the Indy Humane Society - a 2 1/2-mile walk around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. Bright sunny day, nice breeze, thousands of dogs. Riley had a blast. We were part of the IBJ work team, calld "Paper Trained" and had shirts and all. Dozens of booths and tents set up outside the track, where companies and businesses were displaying pet products and giving away free samples. Riley got a few snacks. She had a great time, but so often wanted to play with the many other pooches there but couldn't get us to loosen the leash grip much. Big and little pools of water along the way, and areas to dispose of droppings - which were everywhere, on the track, grass, as everyone strolled around the oval. Our energetic pup got her workout. There was a shorter 1-mile route, but we took the longer route! We got some fun photos - including on the track by the logo, and on the famous Yard of Bricks at the finishline.

Newspapering

Image
My world revolves around newspapers. A newspaper is delivered to my home every day. Not a day passes where I'm not up on the news in my corner of Indiana. Then there's a fact that my job is at a newspaper, writing stories for a legal paper published every other week. My name appears multiple times in the finished product. And in writing stories, I'm always combing through local and national papers, scouring news and reading the works others have put together to see how that might apply to my world. But here I sit at 4 a.m. realizing how I've forgotten what newspapers feel like. In a digital age, every newspaper is online. Local, state, national. What's happening the former stomping grounds, from lake levels to a text-messaging mayoral scandal in Detroit and beloved sports teams I grew up rooting for. CNN. Blogs. Email. Can find court documents, watch video. All with the click of a mouse. Convienence. Sure. A rushed world where you can quickly filter what you want an

If the FDA makes a mistake....

It doesn't matter. Medical device users, such as insulin pumpers, can't sue the pump-maker. Why? The Supreme Court of the United States says so. A court ruling Wednesday sided with devicemaker Medtronic, holding that if federal regulators approved a device, a suit couldn't be filed under state laws. This case stemmed from a New Yorker who was injured after a Medtronic-made catheter burst during an angioplasty procedure 12 years ago. He needed emergency bypass surgery. As a result, he sued the company and alleged design and manufacturing defects in the catheter, as well as inadequate labeling on the device's packaging. The patient later died, but his widow continued the lawsuit on his behalf. The case probed whether manufacturers of sophisticated medical devices approved for sale by the FDA can be sued under consumer-friendly state laws, or whether they are preempted from such lawsuits. Writing for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia called the FDA's current "prem

A price of freedom

News of the shooting at a Missouri city council meeting sent chills down the spine of journalists this week, and sparked memories of council meetings and court hearings I've attended that could have erupted into similar chaos - but fortunately didn't. As I read the accounts of the rampage, which ended with six people dead and several others suffering gunshot wounds, including a reporter, I couldn’t help but think how lucky I am to have never found myself living that nightmare. I’ve sat through hundreds of public meetings myself in the decade I've been newspapering. Most are mundane, boring, to the point where my eyes suddenly slam shut enough to jerk me awake - even temporarily. They all run together in my memories, few standing out. But some do. Like the ones were people get escorted and dragged out by police, those people pointing fingers an screaming at the decision-making government officials. Or the court hearings where a loved one's attacker or murderer doesn

That 32-hour day

A little overwhelmed. So much going on, too little time. The 2 a.m. hour rolls around and, again - as so often it happens - I find myself awake. Body and mind are tired, but the wheels are still turning. Want to write, need to write. That story from the soul that gives you a shiver as good as the moment you see a sunrise or sunset. Want to read, everything I can - the Bible, a former journalism mentor's family memoir, history of Freemasons. Intrigued by my family history, and want to explore every depth and chronicle that genealogical story before it's lost. Gears are going on the emailed political debates with an old roommate and close friend. Another good bud brings up interesting notions in our joint-efforts to study religion. My mind goes, too, to my Michigan trip this weekend and all I need to accomplish at work before then. Work and legal issues playing out in my head, as I recap the high-profile trial I sat through today. Still have to work on the neighborhood newslette

Is seeing believing?

A new year, new time to start stacking on the doctor visits. Better control and diabetes management is always a worthy goal, but for some reason new years tend to bring out that goal even more. Across the blogosphere, d-bloggers are chronicling their experiences at the endo, eye examiners, dental experts, nutrionists, and general physicians. I'm in need of pump supplies, and aside from the issue of whether I'm adequately pushing for better control, will nee to consult my endo just to get a script for life-enduring supplies. But the first exam goes to the eye experts. I've been in need of new contacts and specs for months now, but have pushed off the inevitable purchase until now. My latest visit means I'll be back to contact wearing, ending the temporary adventure of wearing my glasses that need to be bumped up a couple notches. The visit wasn't a welcome one, not after the news last year from a specialist that beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy had started.

Never Forget

Image
Today marks the six-year anniversary that my cousin, Eric William Keeter, died suddenly and unexpectedly from leukemia - AML, or Acute Mylgenious Leukemia. He was 15. No one in the family ever knew before that day of this, it hit suddenly and he was gone that same day. I'd just begun a new job a few weeks earlier - the call came from my mom at work. I didn't understand what she was saying at first. The words "what" kept coming out of my mouth, as I sat at the desk of my first reporter's job. Car crash? School shooting? Some tragic accident? I fumbled the phone; tears formed; my mind raced. My father was driving to the hospital in Ann Arbor - I rushed to do the same. By the time I arrived there, the whole family was already at his bedside. It was mostly too late. My aunt and uncle know the details - they witnessed this: Rushing him that morning to the ER with a headache in the very back of his head. A suprising and unbelievable diagnosis. He's being airli