Saturday, January 31, 2009

This is a man who likes his job

Dale moderated a discussion Saturday on the issue of coal-powered energy. He's shown here in a photo by Eagle photographer Travis Heying, with Kansas Sen. Jay Emler and Rep. Josh Svaty. I'm not sure what they're all laughing about here, but someone like Dale can find humor in just about anything, even energy policy.
Thanks for the photo, Travis!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dale had his grandkids over to spend the night Friday.

I had a girl thing to go to, and when I left that night this is where the kids were... parked in front of the TV playing Mario Kart on the Wii.

When I woke up Saturday morning, this is where I found them... parked in front of the TV playing Mario Kart on the Wii. I'm hoping they don't get one of these at their house because I doubt we'd ever see them again.

And, from the front -- Jaden, Josie and Luke.

Wedding belles

It started out small: a group of us decided to get together to watch my friend Katie Grover's wedding DVD. Katie has been married less than a year and her professionally made wedding DVD just arrived a few weeks ago.

But plans for the night grew exponentially when Katie suggested that EVERYONE bring their wedding dvds/videos/albums/keepsakes/memories, etc. You get eight women together with snacks, wine and wedding stories, and you're guaranteed to have a night full of laughs. Our group, clockwise from front left, included Andy McGinnis, Katie Grover, Andrea Anglin, Carrie Rengers, Denise Neil, Dani Stone and Suzanne Tobias.

Our hostess, Katie, who just bought a new house with her cute hubby, Travis. (This party, however, was in their current house, which is still very cute.)

This is a shot of Katie on her wedding day, taken from her DVD.

Andrea, Katie and Andy. Everyone except me wore black tops on this night. I wore white. Of course.

The gang, with a variety of mostly eaten desserts in the box on the table.

Andrea and her video cozy (that's a hand-sewn container for her wedding video-cassette.) Believe it. It was just one of the wacky wedding mementos and memories from this night.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

This has been a fun and moving day, as our new president took the Oath of Office and began what we all hope will be the process of rebuilding our country to the greatness that it should be.

Our newsroom came to a standstill about 11 a.m. as Obama became the 44th president. One group of us watched the proceedings on our new big-screen Tv.

Including me.

Who can't help but hope for greatness from this president and his wife? One of the fun parts of the day was finally seeing Michelle Obama's fashion choices, including her day-time attire, which is a dress described as lemongrass yellow, created by a Cuban designer, Isabel Toldeo. It was somewhat unconventional, but I thought she looked elegant and confident.

And for the series of 10 inaugural balls (I'm so tired just thinking about that), she wore what is described as an ivory silk chiffon dress, embellished with organza and Swarovski crystal rhinestones and silver thread embroidery. It was created by a young New York designer named Jason Wu, who is from Taiwan. I don't think she can possibly look bad in anything.

There's much to unfold in the weeks and months ahead of this new president and his administration. But I think everyone is hopeful and optimistic at this particular hour and day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

O Christmas Tree

It's Jan. 19, and the tree that Bonnie Bing put up in the Features Dept. at the Eagle is still up. (As are the stockings... look at the window beyond the tree.) Each morning our garden writer, Annie Calovich, dutifully comes in and plugs in the lights on the tree.
But , it's all coming to an end. Some of us, including Denise Neil, shown with her back to the camera, were determined to leave the tree and stockings up until someone in the upper echelons of management suggested we take them down. That time came today. So, three weeks after Christmas, we must say adieu to the holidays once and for all. No Valentine's Day tree, or Easter tree, or Fourth of July tree, ideas we had toyed with. Tomorrow, it's gone, and our world will be a little less festive for it.

Lunch with J&J

Bob Lutz and I try to have lunch with Jerry and Janice Ratts about once a month. Jerry retired from the Eagle about 8 years ago after working there about 35 years. Jerry was the State Editor for the Eagle and my boss when I was an intern in 1980. One of my enduring memories is when Jerry assigned me to do a "bright" about CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite delivering the news one night with a map of the United States behind him. The only problem was that, somehow, the map did not include the state of Kansas. Jerry told me that I needed to call Cronkite at CBS News in New York and get his comment, seeing as how Cronkite had relatives who hailed from Kansas. I thought he was kidding. How was I ever going to get someone as famous and legendary as Cronkite to talk to me on the phone? But he was serious, so I found a number for CBS, asked for the news department, then asked for Walter Cronkite when a woman answered the phone. To my dismay, the next voice I heard was the unmistakeably smooth baritone of Cronkite on the line. I interviewed him for a couple of minutes, during which he gave me a great quote about how sorry he was for the mistake and how his ancestors were probably turning over in their grave because of it. The story ran on 1A.
Many years later, after I returned to the Eagle, I helped organize Jerry's retirement party, which, as far as I'm concerned, is still one of the best parties I've ever attended. Jerry turned 70 last August, but looks great and is thoroughly enjoying retirement with Janice. A postscript: Jerry is one of the funniest people I've ever known. Throughout his career, right up to the day he retired, whenever someone new at the Eagle asked him what his wife's name was, he always responded: "Mrs. Ratts."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Not a good sign

My resolution to post more often and more promptly in 2009 is already faltering. I'm going to be better, I promise. But for now, catching up.

With New Year's Eve outings. We started at Rolling Hill Country Club on Wednesday night to watch Bret and his band, Blue Eyed Soul, play for the club's NYE's bash.

Rachelle and Bret. Dale and I hung with Rachelle and Bret's mom, Chris, during this part of the evening. The club was beautifully decorated and had a fantastic spread. We had a lot of fun and were really glad we started out the night there.

Bret and Chris, during one of Bret's breaks.

Rachelle took this photo of Dale and I dancing, something we seem to do about once a year.

Later we went to Denise Neil's house for a NYE's shindig and, obviously, had fun. But I failed to take photos on this big night, which was also my 51st birthday. So, a lot of work to do on this NY's resolution...