Thursday, March 31, 2005

Thursday, March 31, 2005 (I couldn't think up a title)

So I stepped out of my bedroom this morning to go to work, and stopped dead in my tracks. The door to my roommates' bedroom was wide open, which is not all that strange. What was strange were the legs of whoever was sitting on the bed in front of the door.

Then I remembered: the girlfriend of one of my roommates is in town for a visit, and arrived overnight. Great.

I went to work, still feeling sick but not wanting to spend my day sequestered in my apartment, and accomplished a few things. Wrote Mr. Avers a letter, did some fun reading, and then could not help but be enveloped by the absolute barrage of news that occured as the media tried to squeeze every ounce of coverage the could get out of Terri Schiavo.

You know, by simply making her wishes public or documenting them privately, Terri could have prevented the media firestorm. Also, she could have kept her privacy, which was shattered by everyone involved.

In fact, we should all establish what we want to be done with us in such a situation. To lead by example, I'll do that now:

If any of the following apply...
-I am in a persistent vegative state
-I am comotose but you can't afford to keep me alive
-I am severely brain-damaged beyond hope of living a decent life
... then I have no problem with my family cutting my life support, in fact, I ask that they do so.

I have a will written, by the way. I haven't made it official with a lawyer yet, but it exists.

It's pretty simple. It just says:
-what I want done for my funeral (bury me in CG in a cheap casket, I'm talking pine box here people, it's not like I'm going to need lumbar support in the afterlife).

-what happens to my copyrighted creations (They are not to go into the public domain, but my family is authorized to license my intellectual property out to anyone they choose).

-who is to be given access to my stored digital data and physical files (close friends and family, and a few specified individuals, only).

There are a few other things, but they don't need to come out while I'm still alive.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I photographed this luminary last summer at the Relay for Life in Council Grove, KS. Posted by Hello

Greg Avers was my teacher for Driver's Education and American Studies (American History and English 3 combined).

I remember when he brought in a videotape on September 11, 2001 of cable news coverage of the attacks that he'd recorded while on his lunch break. I had heard about planes flying into the World Trade Center that morning, but thought nothing of it, thinking they meant Cessnas and the like.

It was then, as I watched the Pentagon burning, that I realized the true nature of what had transpired. And we talked about it for a little while, but I cannot remember what was said.

Mr. Avers is definitely one of the best teachers I ever had. He always talked about "the education game" that a lot of students play, where they just learn to consume and then regurgitate information without digesting it, without really learning what something means. And I respected him a great deal for it.

He had nothing but enthusiasm for his job, both in the classroom and on the gym court. One of the fondest high school memories every CGHS student I know is that of Mr. Avers' call for "a V, an I, a C..." at the homecoming pep rallies. How he'd raise his hands and guide the student body in the wave, and lead them in many chants that shook the gymnasium with absolute fervor.

It's teachers like him that make me feel pride in calling CGHS my alma mater.

Mr. Avers was diagnosed with cancer some time ago, and I was told by a family member today that the situation is not a good one. I ask that anyone who wishes to do so to join me in praying for him and his family.

Random occurances

First off, thank you to my mother and those involved in my procurement of medicine to kill off this infection. Your efforts are appreciated.

That being said, I still feel like crap. I started taking the medicine this morning as soon as I got it, and my condition has improved a little bit since yesterday. I even stayed at work all day.

And my spirits are buoyed by the knowledge that this infection's death is currently underway. Revenge is a lovely thing.

Work was simple. I got an email from a reporter back home who had gotten my name and wanted to interview me on what I was doing for "Update," a quarterly magazine put out by my school.

I answered her questions, gave her some pics of myself in D.C., and included the URL of this blog.

So, Anna Morelock: You may be writing about me, but I'm writing about... you... back. um, ha?

We also had a guest speaker: Robert O'Neil, the director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. O'Neil was a good speaker, and he got us psyched up for the upcoming Muzzles.

To top the day off I worked on what classes I shall enroll in come April 6. Three will be at the A.Q. School of Journalism, and I have a few ideas I'm still trying to decide between for the rest of my schedule. I'm open for suggestions for a Political Science Class.

I started writing the first installment of NATH a couple days ago, it will be done by May 1, maybe sooner. I'll keep you guys posted, no pun intended.

Wire Story

Downpour ends White House Easter Egg Roll early

By Logan C. Adams
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON - The ground may have been soggy, but spirits were not Monday morning for the 2005 White House Easter Egg Roll. Inclement weather ultimately won over, however, and the celebration ended after about an hour.

“This house belongs to America – it belongs to you – so I’m pleased to welcome you to your White House,” said Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to the crowd gathered under an ocean of colorful umbrellas, “or as the president calls it, ‘the people’s house.’”

Spellings co-hosted the event in President Bush’s back yard with Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt. Bush has been present for only one Easter Egg Roll, in 2002.

As rain continued to pour down, children waited in long lines to roll eggs on the South Lawn with large spoons. Many required the help of their parents. They won treats. Elsewhere, children swarmed costumed characters, including the Easter Bunny, for hugs and pictures. Children also sat at reading corners, where children’s book authors and politicians, including the Egg Roll’s co-hosts, read to them.

Also popular were the stages where live music from the likes of Barney the Dinosaur and magicians’ tricks entertained the soaked crowd.

“They seem to be real troopers. It’s really amazing,” said “Ralph the Great,” aka Ralph Metzler, a local entertainer who helped arrange a group of 11 magicians from across the nation to perform. “You just get somebody on the stage, and they just flock over to the stage. They wanted to be here, and they’re braving the weather to stay and enjoy it.”

The White House’s Easter Monday tradition dates to 1878, during the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes. Held in earlier years on the Capitol grounds, it was moved to the White House when Congress forbade games on its lawn.

The White House said it had 11,000 hard-boiled eggs ready for children to roll on a short grass course.

Not all who attended the celebration had their spirits dampened by the uncooperative weather that turned parts of the pristine lawn into slick mud.

“The weather’s perfect, ‘cause I like rain,” said Steven Mulchi, 12, of Silver Spring, Md. “You get to play in it and get all dirty.”

Those who did not get in before the cancellation were still allowed to exchange their tickets for Easter Egg Roll treats that were to be given to all the children at the party.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Below there are two posts about my day. I wrote "Unwell" earlier, and blogspot told me it didn't post. So I went to bed for a while, then got up and wrote the newer one. I'm too lazy to pick which one is better, so enjoy both.

I think I need a hug; but stay back, you don't want this stuff!

I had serious plans for today. I was going to cover MGM v. Grokster at the Supreme court, write a story on it, then attend a discussion at GWU about it and do another story, or at least add to the one I did earlier.

So when the better, wiser part of my mind told me to stay in bed so the sore throat I had wouldn't get worse, I chose not to listen.

I forced myself awake, put on the suit I didn't wear yesterday, and left for the highest court in all the land. I was wearing the black Snoopy tie my brother Drew had lended to me for this internship, and there's a special reason for that. I wore this tie to the Inauguration, the State of the Union, the Pentagon, yesterday to the White House and State department, and today I was wearing it to the Supreme Court. I figure it'll always be more special to him now.

I arrived a little late, but just in time to take my press reserved-seat ticket and be escorted to the courtroom with other reporters. It was packed, and from my seat I had the wonderful view of none of the justices. When I craned my neck and the guy in front of me moved his head, I could see the back of the petitioner's head.

Then the circus started. MGM's lawyer spoke, and something scary happened. I couldn't make out what he was saying. All the other reporters were making furious notes, and I was only able to catch every other word. I almost got a whole, good sentence, but the witch sitting next to me needed to know who he was and asked while I was trying to listen to him. So much for that quote.

It's people like her that are the reason the Lord, in his mercy, gave us middle fingers. I didn't flip her off, didn't have time, I just imagined using them, along with my other six fingers and two thumbs, to strangle her; that was enough.

I pointed out the guy's name on the "who's who" sheet right in front of her, and went back to trying to translate whatever I was hearing. I checked my lymph nodes around halfway through, and that hurt. They're not so big now.

After I an hour of oral arguments, I had no one to quote. Nothing. I could paraphrase the entire thing, as I'd heard every argument before from both sides, but that's not my job.

So I called in sick, called home to arrange for a perscription because I don't have a doctor here, and went home and spent most of the day in bed. This is what I get for that time I spent in the cold and the rain and the wind at the White House yesterday. Stupid, stupid me.


I was to cover the oral arguments today in the MGM v. Grokster case, so I forced myself to get out of bed this morning when I should've stayed and gotten rest. You see, in all that cold and rain yesterday it seems I caught myself a bug.

Actually, it's more like a bug caught me, cause I sure as hell ain't holding onto it.

I got the the supreme court press room just in time to take my place in line and get escorted to my seat. I sat down in my reserved chair, from which I could see a whole lot of nothing of the justices, and only an occasional glimpse of the counsel. This poor lady who escorted us in the room had the undesireable job of looking around the pillar to see who was speaking, then mouthing the justice's name and communicating the seat number with her hands.

This was nice of her, but it didn't matter much in the end because I couldn't make out half the words anyone in the courtroom was saying, it was like a language where every other syallable is silent. I knew I had no drugs in my system, so I should have been able to understand them.

Everyone around me was taking furious notes, while I just sat there writing down the occasional word that made it through.

Every time I thought I had a quote, I'd just lose the voice. Some times another reporter would grunt or riffle through their notes or ask me what I heard. I almost slapped this annoying witch that plopped down next to me after coming in late, then asked me who was speaking while I was desparately trying to take notes.

Meanwhile, my throat was 40-grit/grain sandpaper, my lymph nodes were swollen and sore, and my skin felt like it was on fire inside my grey suit.

I left once the arguments were over with a few pages of notes that had the quality of chickenscratches in both penmanship and idealogical content. I called my editor, explained the situation and went home. I couldn't write story about this, I needed to get some rest.

I also called home and arranged for some medicine to be perscribed, which I hope to get tonight or tomorrow morning.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Remember this post?

Well, today there was a nice little thunderstorm around 4 P.M and there were a few bright flashes, and some lovely, lovely thunderclaps. Now let's hope for something truly ferocious.*

*Famous Last Words

Cold, Wet, Hungry and Bleeding: My day at the White House

This morning started early for me at 8:00 A.M Eastern, when I arrived at the Northwest gate of the White House in my nice suit to cover the 2005 Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn, aka Bush's Back Yard.

I'd known I was going since last friday, but I only told a few people because I knew there was a strong chance it'd be cancelled outright and didn't want to crow about then only to get the hatchet.

Security was no problem, they'd had my name down on their list, they handed me a pass, and I was let in without an escort. I walked in the general direction of the door they pointed to when I asked about the press room, and admired the majesty of the building as I walked in the rain.

I must admit I felt a bit giddy as I approached, it is the White House after all. But a reporter must remain calm, clear, collected, and above all, apathetic when necessary. So I just chilled out in the press room, which looks nothin like the one in "The West Wing," much more cluttered and the chairs are reminiscent of the ones in my old High School's auditorium.

I listened to the conversations and gathered that we were to wait in the briefing room until it was our time, when we would be unleashed upon the crowd of parents and children like the savage horde we reporters are. I chilled, made a little bit of small talk, and made two telephone calls. One to my home, where I awoke my my brother. I said hello, asked how he was, but didn't tell him where I was. I then called my mom at work and did the same.

If only they knew they'd gotten telephone calls from the White House today.

We waited, and soon enough, they let us out of the cramped room and out into the... rain. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that it was raining cats, dogs, and ferrets outside. That's right, ferrets.

It was at this moment I realized I shouldn't have dressed so nicely today. I would be reminded of this several times before the day was through.

They had us stand near the White House for a little while, then they opened a gate that reporters started pouring into, and never being one to miss out on a media frenzy, I lumbered after.

Only it was just for PJ's (Photojournalists, aka photogs, aka dudes with cameras) and me being a writer, I was supposed to wait a bit. And I did, but just for a little bit. I soon spotted an opening and was home free. I walked about and interviews kids and parents alike, and it was good until I looked down and realized just how wet my nice pants were with mud. Hello dry cleaning.

I toughed it out, even when my umbrella developed a leak over my head and when my believed-to-be-trustworthy shoes decided to fill up with water without any provocation.

The rain poured and poured, as you can tell by the picture. They called it all off at 10:00 or so, and I took off once I had enough for my story.

I got back to the bureau, and looked at my hand and realized that I had cut it when I closed my umbrella to reenter the White House. That's right, I bled in the White House.

I handed the camera off, got a band-aid, and sat down to dry.

The pictures are nice, expect more to come in future posts.

I wrote a few captions, and bam, it was time to go. Today was our tour of the State Department, so I re-donned my coat, which was still dripping wet, and was on my way with my fellow interns. The state department was nice, but nothing to write home about, really. What it does mean, however is that I have now visited all five major beats in Washington: The Pentagon, the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the State Department.

With the story I'm doing tomorrow, I will have covered three of them.

I wrote my story when we got back, it's a nice one, and I'll post it on here sometime tomorrow.

And I just took my off shoes, which have been wet and on my feet all day, and I swear I hear rodents screaming under my roommate's bed from the stench.

Oh wait, that is my roommate.

Just kidding.
Here I am at the White House Easter Egg Roll. I may be smiling, but I'm soaked to the bone in my shoes. Posted by Hello


Hey Guys, I went to the White House today and covered the Easter Egg Roll. Details tonight.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Uh, Happy Easter? Posted by Hello

Another Walk in Woodley

When I reached the downstairs door to go outside and have myself a little walk, I discovered it was raining, just like it had been several other times when I had looked outside today. So I went back up the stairs and switched coats, from my "no-rain" coat to my "all-the-rain-I-can-find" coat, and went back out.

I love walking in the rain when you don't have any need to stay dry. When you're wearing expensive clothes that would be ruined by a soaking it's horrible, but this was nice.

It's been raining off and on for the past couple days, and as a result a lot of the nasty stuff in the air seems to have been filtered out. I was able to breathe in deep, and it felt good.

I stopped at this chinese restaurant I hadn't eaten at before, and ordered a large Mongolian Pork. They left me a small glass of water, and didn't refill it again until they came with my check, and the pork itself wasn't too good, wasn't very large at all, and thus my tip wasn't very large either. Hell, the fortune cookie they gave me was empty, so the hell with them.

I left, and walked across Taft bridge four times while enjoying my iPod. I listened to Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," The Verve Pipe's "Freshmen," Matchbox Twenty's "If you're gone," and the Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony," among others.

The walk was a good one, and I tried to make an audioblog post of the sound of cars going by, only my cell phone couldn't pick up the sound, so no post. I doubt it would've been good anyways.

A look at emotion to celebrate Easter

Well, I went to mass this morning, it was nice. For once, the church was full. As in: "I wouldn't have gotten a seat had I not been 20 minutes early." St. Thomas Apostle has been 1/5 to 1/4 full during all the services I've attended, and to see it with so many people in it gave me a nice feeling.

A friend of mine asked me two questions last night. The first was: "Can I ask you a question?"

When he communicated this inquiry, my heart stopped, my lungs siezed, and I was frightened. When someone asks permission to ask something, it strongly implies that what may come may be difficult to answer. It's not so much a question as a warning, because how are you going to turn someone down when they were so nice about it in the first place?

I joked "You just did" to buy myself some time, told him to go ahead, and braced for whatever was to come.

He asked how I'm able to just open up on this blog and let all my deep, personal, emotion-packed thoughts be made public so easily.

Good question, isn't it?

I thought about it for a good bit of time, frankly, because I wanted to know the answer myself. I decided to elaborate on my answers in this post for I'd bet good money others would like to know, too.

I told him it was for several reasons; one part of it was the arrogance that comes from believing I'm good at writing. It takes a nice chunk of arrogance to do anything in this world, I'm just one of the few who's willing to admit it.

Another part was that I've lost every bit of fear of letting people know my emotions and vulnerabilities due to events that have occured in the past 6 months. Honest to God, I have no natural fear left of having my weaknesses being known by everyone else; and it can be just as dangerous as being unable to feel pain while in a house full of hot stoves. People may think less of me for my thoughts or judge me by my emotions, but I really don't care. There are far, far worse horrors in this world.

Another part is the very meaning of life, that is, the meaning of my life, which is stirring emotion in others with what I create. Writing, photography, pottery, and every other artform I have tried has been done with the intention of making others feel something. As I said a moment ago, I'm not afraid of letting my own feelings run free if they can influence others just a little.

Then there's the old Red Smith adage:

"There is nothing to writing; all you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."

I've found over the years that writing for me is very, very therapeutic when it comes to understanding, well, everything. It used to be that I'd write things down to ease my pain over something or figure out some issue, then keep such writings secret, often destroying them, out of fear of being discovered and embarrassed for thinking a certain way or such.

As I said before, that fear is gone, as is any comfort gained from writing that is kept secret. Writing is a means of communication, things written using paper or pixels are meant to be shared. To keep such things hidden, for me, has become useless.

Thus, I coined the term "Public Bloodletting," for letting such things be made public through the Red Cross bloodmobile that my laptop has become. At least I think I coined it.

Now, I've expressed myself on this blog a great deal, and I've got a bit more expression to do here. But it shall come to an end, of that I am sure. When I get back to Kansas, my life will probably cease to be so interesting, so the self-expression will be taking a backseat fairly soon.

And I intend to then start expressing something new.
Don't blame me, blame Christopher. Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Easter Eve

I went to confession today because I'm Catholic and tomorrow is Easter and somehow the two are related. I don't know why, they just are. Don't ask me why: I don't know, and this is Catholicism, a religion where you do as you're told and never ask questions.

I said my sins quietly while mumbling heavily, for while I was waiting to enter the confessional I discovered that its sound insulation was sub-par. As in: had I not been humming a bit I would've learned things about those who preceeded me that I should not know.

Thus the humming, then the mumbling. And the quick saying of penance before I left.

In other news: I ordered some prints via adorama today to be shipped home, hopefully they'll arrive next week. And I shipped a 10-pound package of papers and the like home yesterday that should arrive on Monday. Hey, it's 10 pounds I won't have to carry on the plane.

My goodness, three weeks left. Before I know it I'll be back in my family's house in Council Grove, KS. But the question on my mind is: will it be home?

I'm not saying that I'm afraid it changed while I was away. The big blue house I grew up in was my home for a long time; then I went to college. I spent a year and a half going back and forth between the two, as many students do, and rarely being in the same place for more than 5 days.

Then one day my little brother, who isn't so little these days, told me it wasn't my house anymore during a dispute over the presence of my things. Those words cut deep, because when he said it I realized that it wasn't home, either. For the first time I noticed that the feeling of comfort I'd get from being there was gone, the warmth and calm replaced by iciness and unease.

I doubt that has changed, but I still hold out a twinge of hope that I'll find home again in a few weeks.

And even if I don't, it's OK.

I know in my heart that we all eventually make it back to our one true home at the end of the road, and that is all I really need.
Ahh, yes, the laundry room where I should be doing my laundry so that I have clothes to wear next week. Hmmm. Posted by Hello
This is between my house and the church. I have no idea what it is. Perhaps it's for fighting off hordes of angry Lemurs or something. Posted by Hello
One of our neighbors driving his Porshe, I've seen a lot of these around Woodley Park. Posted by Hello
The St. Thomas Apostle rectory, with my own artistic touch. Love the sign. Posted by Hello
The entrance to our apartment building. Posted by Hello
This is the church, this is the steeple... Posted by Hello
The trusty lion that Scripps has standing guard over our apartment building. I haven't named him yet, feel free to leave suggestions Posted by Hello
A composite image of my bedroom, just so my poor, poor mother knows I've been making my bed. Posted by Hello
Our Kitchen Posted by Hello
Our living room Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Since everyone else is weighing in on Terri Schiavo...

I look at what's happening in Florida now, -- the protests, the media frenzy, the family ripping itself apart, and the raging tempers and foul rancor developing nationwide over the issue -- and I become afraid of even letting myself feel something over it.

But what kind of writer would I be for doing that?

When I stand among the facts of the case, I find myself standing in a great field, with the white "River of life" on one side and the black "Mountain of death" on the other.

There is no point between the two where I can find enough contrast to determine what is right and what is wrong. It's all grey, and I can find no answer.

In fact, I don't think I should find an answer, and neither should you.

This is a matter for Terri's family to decide, not us. I have no business making this decision, and neither do you. This is a family issue, not a national one.

So would everyone please stop yelling and screaming and complaining. You have no right to make this decision, neither do I.

So let's try to quiet down a little. There are real decisions that need to be made.

Tonight, I will pray that Terri's true desire, whatever it may be in reality, is granted. Please feel welcome to join me.

Wire Story

Film documents divisive Michael Moore visit to Utah college

By Logan C. Adams
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON - When Steven Greenstreet heard that Michael Moore was coming to Utah Valley State College last fall, he dropped out of Brigham Young University to document the ensuing controversy.

His film, “This Divided State,” comes from 65 hours of footage recorded over two months from the announcement of Moore’s visit to Election Day. It was screened here Wednesday before an audience of 160 people, sponsored by the Center for American Progress.

The movie begins with the history of Utah and describes UVSC’s location: Utah County, where there are 12 Republicans for each Democrat, a place the film refers to as “the most conservative county in the country.”

As expected, the announcement of Moore’s impending visit by Student Body President Jim Bassi and Vice President Joe Vogel was met with resistance. Greenstreet said the controversy was positive at first.

“Initially, it was like a huge catalyst. … It was just an overnight change of political discourse in the hallways,” he said. However, things turned for the worse as debate broke down into conflict, and the student leaders who invited Moore faced demands they resign.

As a compromise, Bassi and Vogel invited commentator Sean Hannity to speak on campus the week before Moore’s appearance.

It wasn’t enough.

Vogel had to resign when community leader Kay Anderson filed suit, claiming the student government had overstepped its bounds by paying Moore to speak.

Anderson is featured in film arguing against Moore’s invitation to campus, saying at one point, “He hates who we are and would like to destroy us.”

He dropped the suit immediately after Vogel resigned.

Greenstreet found some irony in having made a documentary about Moore, a famous documentarian. “It was kind of weird filming the guy who inspired me to do documentary,” he said.

Greenstreet said Moore liked film and was distressed that the student leaders suffered after the speech.

The film misses no opportunity to show the lighter side of the controversy, including interviews about Moore with people dressed as Star Wars characters at a DVD release for the series. Someone dressed as Darth Vader jokes, “I believe the emperor is expecting him,” when he was asked if Michael Moore is evil.

Student Ken Brown impersonates Moore. “When you get the attention, you just go for it,” Brown says in the film.

Although the USVC student’s physique mirrors Moore’s, his Republican politics do not. He was featured in the film posing as the filmmaker from Flint, Mich., and drew insults from confused members of Hannity’s audience.

After the screening, Greenstreet took questions from the audience. “One of the main talking points I’d like to bring up is just this myth of red versus blue,” he said. “That kind of implies that there are only two voices.”

Audience members applauded when the film ended and asked generally friendly questions.

Greenstreet grew up in Maryland and was a junior at BYU before the Moore controversy. He said he paid for the film with “two credit cards and a bank account.” He is shooting another film about Utah’s conservative culture called “Happy Valley,” and has worked as a production assistant on a film starring actor Anthony Hopkins.

“This Divided State” begins a 22-stop tour of universities next week, and a DVD release with additional footage is expected this summer. Greensteet said he has been invited to London by the Documentary Film Guild for a screening.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

My own little catchphrase

I once thought about giving myself a catchphrase to be used in every column I did for the Collegian.

The catchphrase is: "moving on..." (As in: "Shame on me. Moving on..." )

It's just a little line that had a ring to it that I liked, a ring that echoes anew as my thoughts turn to my impending return home.

I must admit the Capital City has grown on my during my time here. It's a nice place with lots of people and big buildings and noise. It took some getting-used-to, but I have adapted as best as I can.

And I have become attached to the perks of living here, all the chinese food, bearing witness to history as it happens and reporting it back to the world, and the feeling of intense possibility I get from being in a place of such rapid change.

I only have a few weeks left here. There are many people I haven't seen in a long time who I miss dearly, and I'm ready for what comes next. I am at peace with my time here being finite, for it only made me get more out of what I had.

I have plans for when I get back to Council Grove. I'm launching my photography business, I'm going to work on my studies, hopefully I'll get a nice internship or job for the summer. I'm going to write that intense work of fiction I've been planning for almost a year now.

I am neutral about leaving D.C. My fears and wants of both places have cancelled each other out. All that remains in my eye is that Washington is going to soon be behind me, with Kansas surrounding me, and only God knows what in my future.

I'm going to live and laugh and breathe like I remember doing once some great time ago, a time I can barely remember these days. I'm ready to live on my own terms.

I've had my fun, I've had my experiences. It would be nice to do this forever, but I've got greater things to do. Moving on...

Not the best of moods

Last night I came home in a lousy mood, due in part that I'd done a 13-hour workday and the metro ride home was stressful. Don't ask.

We went to the Washington Post today and had a nice little tour and they let us watch their 2:00 budget meeting. It was similar to those I went to at the Collegian, just more professional.

I finished my news story on this movie and I'll post it here tomorrow.

It was a good movie, but it messed me up because the events it documented happened at the same time as some events in my life that were... unfortunate. Seeing the dates flash on the screen brought part of it all back when I made the extremely stupid mistake of thinking "what was I doing when all this happened?"

So I'm still cooking a bit, but I'll make it through this. I always do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Angry Blogging. Stand back.

So I just realized I've been in a state of rage over something I can't talk about for a few weeks now without knowing it. This dawned on me today when I started losing my temper over a news story that didn't turn out like I'd hoped and became crystal clear when I started to shake at the extremities while waiting for the Metro train. I'm just not well right now.

What's bothering me? What part of "something I can't talk about" did you not understand there, bucko? Just be glad I let you in that deep, and don't ask again.

How angry? Banging-my-head-against-walls-randomly- angry, at this moment. I almost hit attacking-people-on-the-subway-angry, but I'm not there yet. Check back in a few days, this could get entertaining for all of you.

I'm going to go get fitted for my straightjacket...

I reached my breaking point on a story today trying to write about a speech given by Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at this convention I went to yesterday and today in hopes of finding something interesting to write about.

He said near the beginning of the speech that it would be about "Ensuring Access," then he never came close to it whatsoever while jumping from concept to concept. In fact, there was no topic to this speech. It was just so the convention-goers in attendance could brag about hearing the chairman of the Joint Chiefs speak just to them. Then there was a press conference afterwards where a bunch of reporters had questions about breaking news in Iraq that I had no idea about. No one asked about his speech, and I doubt anyone cared.

I listened to the tape 3-4 times and never could I find a thing that was worth mentioning.

So I didn't write a story on it, and while I'm disappointed in myself I'm even more disappointed with the convention, which had abso-freaking-lutely nothing worth writing a news story on. I mean, my God, there were publicists there who would just go, "Um, yeah, we make engines for the Navy" as if they're embarrassed about it.

I'll work hard on a story, but I'm not going to do both sides of a freaking interview. A great deal of money could've been saved by just having everyone mail each other their business cards.

Oh, the story below was written last week, I just forgot to post it. Enjoy.

Wire Story

Congressional delegation proposes federal aid to ‘Bleeding Kansas’ history sites

By Logan C. Adams
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON - Twenty-four eastern Kansas counties would become eligible for money to preserve historic sites and educate people about state history, under a bill before a Senate subcommittee.

The national parks subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources heard testimony Tuesday about “The Bleeding Kansas National Heritage Area Act,” which refers to pre-Civil War battles in the state.

Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Jim Ryun, both R-Kan., introduced the bill with the backing of the entire Kansas congressional delegation.

The act is designed to give National Park Service funding to parts of Kansas where events shaped American history. Examples include the violent conflict that occurred in the territory before and during the Civil War on the issue of slavery and the Supreme Court case that ended school segregation, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

Brownback said the state has much to be proud of in its history. “We will ensure that this magnificent legacy lives on and serves as a stirring reminder of the sacrifices and triumphs that created this nation,” he said in a prepared statement.

The bill would apply to Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Crawford, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, Neosho, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson, Woodson and Wyandotte counties. In the future it could include parts of Missouri and other Kansas counties.

The bill would authorize up to $10 million over 10 years and requires a minimum 50 percent local match.

J. Peyton Knight, of the American Land Rights Association, said Heritage Areas waste money. He said they never develop the local funding to be self-sufficient and continue to take more federal funding. He called them a “40-year old ‘child’ still living in mommy and daddy’s basement.”

“Someday, they swear, they’ll grow up and move out on their own,” he said. “Yet that day never comes.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

In My Life

Posted by Hello

"There are places I'll remember all my life
Though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all"

-John Lennon
Yeah, I'm experimenting with photoshop again. It's cool-looking, though, right? Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Not exactly Bedridden

I didn't go to work today. I awoke this morning with a sore throat and a few symptoms of the flu that you don't talk about in formal conversation and decided to take the day off, rest up, and hit the grind with utter ferocity tomorrow.

My supervisor was more than happy to hear I wasn't coming in. The employees stationed in the Scripps Media Center are rather wary of disease. Mentioning influenza even in a joke could cause a panic. At least that's the reason I hope she was happy I didn't come in...

So I stayed in bed most of the day with a little bit of net surfing when I got bored or to check my email, and to do a little research for upcoming stories. I also finished the book I was reading: The Last Juror by John Grisham. It was a very good book indeed, 486 pages, I started reading it Friday night.

The librarian from my old High School must be so proud.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Look at the slideshow

This link will take you to a news story about a woman's death from cancer, with a collection of some of the most powerful pictures I've ever seen.

An interesting blog...

... with an interesting post on Scientologists.

Miller: it leaves a much better taste in your mouth in the morning than Bud Lite

Last night I went out to hang with Scott in Wheaton, and drink beer. I had one, a guinness, before I left, and lost count after my second Miller Genuine Draft at Scott's.

He told me I had six. I'll take his word for it. I just know my liver and kidneys hate me, but that's another story. We drank beer and watched some basketball, Ron White's "They call me 'Tater Salad,'" a few episodes of South Park, and a few of Family Guy. Good stuff.

I went home on the very last train from Maryland on the Red Line last night, and it was an experience unto itself, whatever that means.

I sat down in the very back seat of the train and pulled my Cabelas baseball cap down so no one could see my eyes. Spooky, I was. Then a pair of cops got in and sat down near me. I smiled, touched my fingers to my cap in a little imperfect-but-friendly salute, and they smiled back. All was well.

They got off after a few stops, and then a young couple in ball attire boarded and sat in the chair right in front of my face, where they started making out like crazy before realizing they were right there in front of me, stopping, and looking sheepish.

So I pulled my hat down over my eyes and let them have some privacy, which they were more than happy to take advantage of before getting off the train one stop before me.

I was glad to be able to look up again.

I trudged up to the apartment, came inside, and went to bed at around 3:20 A.M.

And I woke up around 10: 30, and called my friend Annette for I thought she was leaving today for Kansas and would be wanting to meet up one last time at the airport.

Only she's leaving next week, and it sounded like I awoke her from her sleep and came off like a complete stalker.

I blame the beer.
this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, March 19, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, March 18, 2005

Ten weeks down, 4 to go

Levar Burton spoke today at the National Press Club's Luncheon Lecture today, and I arrived just as the meal was ending so I could hear what he had to say.

Levar Burton was my hero when I was a kid because he was the host of "Reading Rainbow," the shouw I would watch every day when I got home from school. My mom used to tell me how long something would take in "how many Reading Rainbows" it would be. For instance, a three hour flight to Texas was "Six Reading Rainbows." Yes, it meant that much to me.

Every episode was journey into some part of the world, but it would only go part of the way into a concept. Levar would always leave you with less than what you wanted from a story or an idea. In order to get more, you'd have to read on your own.

And read I did. I read and read... and then I started writing. And now I'm here, a reporter in the nation's capital. Yeah, he's very awesome in my eyes.

Levar stood up at 1:00 P.M. today in the Press Club and started speaking, and it was amazing to behold. It was nothing like the speeches by Eliot Spitzer (N.Y. Attorney General) and Sen. Ted Kennedy I saw there.

This was passionate, this was strong, this was amazing. He didn't look at the cameras, but at everyone around the room. He cared about this audience, which was composed of several families with children as well as reporters and dignitaries.

Cameras were all over. One pro shooter hammered away on his shutter like it was a football game, another fumbled with his flash between single frames. Parents around the room pulled out digital cameras to capture the scene, and one little girl took a pink Barbie camera out of her purse to capture the moment for posterity, and then carefully put it away.

He seemed to be a bit unhinged, almost crazy, and his voice was a loud whisper, one that everyone could hear and filled with so much energy for his subject. What was his subject? I'd describe it as an exploration of life and learning.

He dove into the meaning of reality, and how our thoughts determine reality itself; that the way we percieve the world decides more than anything.

He talked about a three-year-kid named Teddy that thinks he's a superhero. He wears a cape, jumps around his house and believes he will grow up someday to be a true superhero, "And guess what," he said, "I'm not betting against Teddy."

He talked about being raised a catholic, entering and then leaving the seminary, and finding his way to his career as a "communicator," the best description there is of what he does. He talked of the corporal punishment he recieved as a kid, and got a laugh with this line:

"My mother was a social worker, who was I going to complain to?"

He finished his speech, and asked for a moment before taking questions. He took out a small digital camera and took several pictures, rotating 360 degrees at the podium.

The questions were great. Two kids asked if he'd go fishing with him in Montana (he said yes, as long as it's catch and release), someone else asked about the biggest challenges for kids today. He joked about it being adults.

Another person asked about the future and spaceships, and he says in the most sci-fi genius voice I've ever heard with his eyes going crazy "Here's a cool thing about the future: we won't need spaceships to travel."

Someone asked about the recent "Gay Buster" fiasco, and he yelled, before the question was through, "FREE BUSTER!"

They saved the Star Trek questions for last, and he grimaced when asked about Enterprise's cancellation, and spoke absolutely candidly: "The motivation was just 'let's make as much money from this as we can,' and that hurts... That hurts."

And of course, at the end of it all, right before the president adjourned the event, he signs off like he did on every Reading Rainbow episode: "but you don't have to take my word for it."

I stood up and followed Kate and Jessie downstairs, they took pictures of him with their phones (ain't technology great) and left before the rush. Dozens of kids walked up to the podium to meet him and I stayed in back. I wasn't about to knock a kid out of the way, especially not these kids, many of whom were ill.

The line disappeared, and I walked up and waited for him to finish a conversation with a club member before asking for his autograph. My heart nearly pounded its way out of my chest as I stood there in the presence of my one-time-idol. He signed the cover of my notebook, I shook his hand and was on my way.

What a day.

From the Pentagon to the Press Club

This morning we left our Woodley Park Apartments to travel to the Pentagon to meet some staff and take a tour. We were 5 minutes late, thanks metro!

Well, first we met the press officer and were "briefed" by him in the actual Pentagon Briefing Room. We stopped that after 20 minutes and watched as CNN's Barbara Starr made a live report from that very room, and continued when she was done.

We had a tour given by a friendly Coast Guard Seaman (don't make fun of his rank, he's a good guy) who told us to call him Curtis. He showed us flags, paintings, and all sorts of interesting stuff, but the most amazing part of it all started when he said "On September 11, 2001..." and took us to the part of the Pentagon where the plane hit.

It kinda bothered me that there was no dress code for this place. I was dressed in my good black suit, and my colleagues were all in fine, respectful clothes, and we were very reverent as we toured the memorial and chapel inside the Pentagon.

Tourists, however, were in T-Shirts and shorts as they gawked about on this hallowed ground. I just think the 184 good people who died there deserve better, but that's just me.

We left that area, and waited at the door to the innermost part of the Pentagon, the courtyard, as several huge carts (each one big enough to hold 3 bodies) went by with packages marked "classified" and "secret" and the like. I hope it's OK for me to say that much. If it isn't, I doubt I'll wake up in the morning.

We then went outside and walked around the courtyard, where no one is required to salute anyone, while Curtis told us an interesting story:

"(paraphrasing) During the cold war, the Soviets would look at the Pentagon via spy satellites and see large numbers of people walking out of the Pentagon at midday, going to a small building in the middle of the Courtyard, and returning with packages in their hands.

"This, they concluded, meant that the Pentagon was just a building sitting on top of a much larger military base, which is located underneath and accessed through that little building. Thus, they decided, in the event of nuclear war, to aim a part of their arsenal to hit that tiny building and destroy whatever is underneath.

"To this day, that tiny building is sometimes referred to as "Ground Zero," and is joked to serve the most dangerous hot dogs in the world."

I love good stories.

After that, the tour was over and we were set free outside the Pentagon, where we got back on the Metro and went back to the bureau, arriving at 12:30.

I was then reminded of a speech at the Press Club by Levar Burton that was to happen at 1:00, which I did attend and will post about tonight or this weekend because I took notes and this deserves it's own post, it's that cool.

My favorite poem of all time

by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Since Blogspot is being evil...

My posting program is being difficult, so some things may be a bit off on the blog. Just act like you're not surprised and everything will be ok until I get it fixed.

The House Judiciary Commitee, and Urine

So this morning started out nicely with a trip to the press club to hear a panel discussion on anonymous sources. It was most interesting to me, but none of you would give a damn, so I won't write about it.

Our editor is out of town today and tomorrow, so no news stories to do. We're just supposed to research stuff and keep ourselves occupied as best we can while completely unsupervised.

Mmmm, freedom.

So, instead of staring at my computer screen with nothing to do, I went to Rayburn House Office Building to see what kind of insanity was happening there.

You see, our lawmakers have decided that they need to get involved with steroid use in Baseball, and they're calling in stars like Jose Conseco and Sammy Sosa and others to be held accountable, or something like that.

I don't really care what they do, and I wasn't going to do a story on it. I just get a real buzz off a media frenzy and try to seek them out, and I always like being able to say "I was there." If that's wrong, I don't want to be right. And if that's right, well, HA!

It was a zoo, make no mistake of it. I stepped out of the Metro station to find crowded sidewalks and Independence avenue blocked off with cops on each and every corner with extras in between. A few on the Capitol building side had automatic weapons cradled in their arms, while countless people stood around gaping in random directions as if Sammy Sosa would suddenly fall out of the sky.

The hallway outside the committee chamber was packed with reporters on one side and tourists on the other. I didn't go into the main room, but instead went upstairs into the media check-in and overflow room. They had 3 big TV's with the courtroom proceedings on, and I had a seat in the back.

I was just in time to hear Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland start asking questions about the testing process, and I learned some things. Things like urine samples of less than 75 milliliters are rejected and destroyed, and that a test subject who couldn't "put out" then has to be observed for an hour before taking a second swing at it.

After hearing a United States Congressman being educated on pee tests, I felt rather umcomfortable and left.

As I walked out of the building, I heard a Jewish kid tell his Jewish friends (they were all wearing yarmelkes and standing separate of everyone else) he was certain he knew which door some person of interest was taking, and they made it clear he'd better have been right.

I hope he didn't get beat up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I amof Irish heritage, and darned proud of it.

I can trace my lineage all the way back to Ireland, to the Killashee church in County Longford.

Thus, I have procured a nice amount of Guinness through connections, and do fully intend to enjoy them tomorrow night.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day everybody Posted by Hello

FOIA. Pronounced "Foi-yah"

This morning I attended conference on the Freedom of Information Act that was a field trip for the program. It had its moments, but it was by no means a fun event.

The food sucked, too. Apperantly they were too cheap to hire a chef who took the bones out of fish before serving it. *Ack.*

I returned to the office at around 3:45, and started writing a 2-page summary of my time here, which I just turned in.

Only I made a 4-page summary, but hey, this isn't your average internship.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Today, I covered a Senate subcommittee hearing on a bill that I don't want to have to explain again because I just don't want to. Plus, I'm certain you don't care either.

Story got done, all went well, except for the one interview I wanted to have before the day was through, which didn't happen. But that's life.

Something interesting happened tonight when I left work.

Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata- Adagio Sostenuto" started playing from my iPod as I waited for the elevator, and continued as I sautered down the four blocks between my building and the Metro station. I love this song because it's about anger, a special kind of anger.

It's not that rage that burns you along with it or that loathing that eats you from within. It's about that anger that burns inside of you eternally without consuming anything. It's gentle, and constant, and can turn into that special rage or that deep loathing whenever you so desire.

And it makes a nice companion when you're feeling alone.

The song, that is.

And now the sleeping drugs kick in.

Senator Brownback, WHERE ARE YOU?

Hmmm, Sen. Brownback was supposed to call me 15 minutes ago *Phone Rings*

"Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, this is Logan"

"Hi, this is (Brownback's Press Secretary)..."

Looks like the senator is late, no interview tonight. Boo hoo, I'm taking my sleeping pills.


I'm just typing randomly, while waiting for Senator Sam Brownback to call me, because I'm bored and need to keep my mind moving so I can get the most I can get from this interview.

And that's enough right there.

Just recieved this message on thefacebook

I bet you don't remember me, but i went to church w/you in CG. I went to Herington. Just wanted to say that I miss your articles in the collegian.


It's nice to be remembered. -Logan

Monday, March 14, 2005

Calling the office of Rep. Jim Ryun

So I called Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., today. Well at least I called his office to ask for his press secretary.

I dialed the number, the phone rang, and a voice came on the phone. I could be off a little on the exact words, but here's what I got:

"Hello, you've reached the office of Congressman Jim Ryun. This is Jim, how can I help you?"

I almost asked if it was the congressman himself, but the voice was obviously not his.

Random statements and the like

Lyrics in my head:
"I took a guess and cut a portion out of my heart,
He said 'that's nowhere close enough but it's a damn good start.'
I wrote the secret that I buried on the wishing-well wall
He said 'I seen one, it follows that I seen them all.'"
-"The Devil in the Wishing Well" by Five for Fighting

So today I had a meeting with our supervisor, Jody, today about my progress this semester after 9 weeks of work. She said I'm doing well, but I need to stop coming in late.

Which wouldn't be so hard if my roommate's snoring didn't keep me up late at night.

Which won't happen tonight thanks to the OTC sleep aids I have ingested.

Don't worry, I took the safe, reccomended dose. They should start affecting me at about the same time I finish this post, and have me snoozing about 90 minutes after that.

There's a girl on my mind now that I haven't seen in months. It's starting to drive me crazy because I don't know what to think regarding her anymore.

Now, this isn't that "I can't live without her" crap or that "My soul wretches forth from the depths out of my longing for her" garbage. This is more along the lines of "there's this girl on my mind that I like but find byself being deeply, deeply confused by" or "So I like this gal, or I think I do, or maybe I do, or..."

Ahh, screw it. I'd delete those last two paragraphs, but I like the "emotional states" I made up. Or maybe the sleep aids are affecting my judgement.

In other news, I'm covering a speech or two about a future resolution making 24 Kansas Counties into a... I forget, but involves bleeding somehow. I'll explain later.

Oh, and I wish to announce a project I've been planning for a good year now: a nice-sized work of fiction. More info here.


As of 5:00 PM Eastern time

Total Word Count of entire Blog: More than 36,000.
Total hits on this page since 2/11/05: 1484
Unique hits since 2/17/05: Almost 500

Wire Story

Members of Congress urge ambassador to end Japan’s ban on U.S. beef imports

By Logan C. Adams
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON - Thirteen United States lawmakers met with Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato Friday to urge him to end his country’s ban on importing American beef.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the United States has done more than enough to earn access to Japan for its beef producers.“We have tested nearly 250,000 cattle in the United States in the past year,” he said. “Other major trading partners have tested under 500 head with no restrictions. I wanted to know why we’re being held to a different standard.”

The ban was put in effect in December 2003 when a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, more popularly known as BSE or “mad cow disease,” was discovered in Washington state. BSE is a fatal degenerative nerve disease of cattle. Humans who consume beef tainted by BSE can contract a similar fatal disease.

Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said that the loss of Japanese customers has hurt ranchers.

“Ten percent of the price that comes to a Kansas cattleman for their beef is due to their exports, and 50 percent of that is Japanese exports,” he said. “And it’s not just the cattlemen that this affects. This affects Main Street business. It affects the economics of every small town in Kansas.”

Moran said they asked Kato when a decision would be made and received no answer. Kato left the meeting without speaking to reporters.

Roberts said that the lawmakers warned the ambassador there could be sanctions against Japan for continuing to ban U.S. beef.

“Pressure is building in farm country. As one cowboy told me from Dodge City, we don’t have to use Japanese tires on all of our cars,” he said.

However, the senator said sanctions would likely fail.

“I think that’s the wrong road,” he said. “I think if you try to fire a warning shot across the trade boat that you’ll probably hit the boat.”

Mike Schultz, chief executive officer of the Kansas Cattlemen's Association, agreed that it would be a strong benefit to Kansas farmers to have Japan's market open again, adding that the quality of the beef will eventually win Japan back.

"With and without imports or exports, we have a very good market here because the consumers believe in the product that we have and raise here now," he said. Two Japanese commissions are responsible for deciding about whether to import U.S. beef, Roberts said. To coax them into making a decision, Roberts said he had a plan.

“Basically, I recommended that all of us who represent beef states know that we use something called a cattle prod,” he said. “It tends to move cattle very quickly. So in terms of the risk-assessment commission, I recommended perhaps that we ship over several cattle prods, and maybe we can get them to make a decision.”

Roberts said the lawmakers, 11 senators and two representatives, discussed ways to ensure that cattle shipped to Japan would be disease free. Based on when ranchers stopped using cattle feed that could cause disease, he said Japan should be willing to accept any cattle younger than 17 months old.

“From our perspective, this has little or nothing to do with food safety,” Moran said, “but has to do with barring U.S. beef for some other reason, economic, trade or political.”

Lawmakers from Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska, Mississippi, Georgia, Idaho, Utah and Texas attended the meeting.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I'd like to thank the aca... er, Kansas Press Association

I was reading the Manhattan Mercury's website for news on my old stomping ground, and this headline junped out:

Mercury wins nine Kansas Press Association awards

I just knew when I saw that headline that the project had won an award.

So raise a cheer for my colleagues from that internship, Jocelyn Mattoon and Lindsey Bauman! They were a dream to work with, as was the entire Mercury Staff.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

My Own Cheap Japanese Horror Movie

I almost didn't get out of bed this morning. I felt I had reached my breaking point, that I'd lost my hunger for reporting and that I should just give up.

I moped about, staring at random inanimate objects around my room as if I expected them to talk to me or something as I got dressed in my fine black suit.

Somehow I made it in to work at a decent hour, and I seriously considered not going to a press conference that would happen after a meeting between the Japanese Ambassador and a score of lawmakers, including Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, about reopening the Japanese market to American Beef.

Remember Mad Cow, that nasty stuff that results when you force cattle to eat each other? Well, Japan is scared of it, and they think we have it. But we don't, and we're trying to convince their government of it because we want the business. Plus, they love beef. You do too, right?

Well, I felt ill, both mentally and health-wise, but my editor gave me the look that said "cover it like you said you would, or die;" and I complied.

I arrived at the Russell Senate Office Building just in time to realize that this was not a press conference, it was a stakeout. The difference? A Press conference is held in a room, and there is some sort of order.

A stakeout is held in a hall outside a room, and is utter chaos.

Right after I'd taken up a position outside the meeting room, Sen. Roberts walks out and looks at me for a partial second and moves on without missing a beat. He walked to the end of the hall where the cameras and microphones were set up for him.

There was at least 20 reporters there, most of them Japanese. They must want our beef something fierce these days.

The japanese reporters crowded up around the senator with their tape recorders, so that I couldn't record him with my tape recorder at my side or just plain held out regularly.

So, I took advantage of my (almost) six feet of height and their, well, average of 5'4" and simply held my arm and tape recorder out over their heads. Good thing my deodorant held through.

Roberts finished up, and left. I spoke with his press secretary, all was good. I then leaned against a wall for 15 minutes waiting for the next lawmaker to exit the meeting room.

Then a whole gaggle of them just came out and lined up behind the microphone. Mike Crapo of Idaho, Wayne Allard of Colorado, the list goes on. Then the Ambassador came out. And the reporters did something that can only be accurately described as going completely apesh*t.

The ambassador said nothing as he stepped out of the meeting room, even though a dozen reporters were on him as he walked towards the microphone. He said nothing at the microphone, and walked right past it towards the elevators, where he stood and said nothing as reporters chased after him and cameramen ripped their cameras up off their tripods in case he said something. He didn't.

I had to grab the wall so that I wouldn't be washed away by screaming japanese reports as they flew after him in hopes they could quote someone other than evil yankee pig-dog politicians who might already have Mad Cow disease.

So as I clung to the wall, I realized that it was not unlike being in a GODZILLA movie, which I found being very funny.

He got on the elevator, not commenting, and was gone. A few reporters took off down the stairs to chase him. The senators wanted to start speaking again, but they had to wait for the cameras to get back into place, and were obviously bothered by the lack of attention and respect that the reporters had shown.

But something clicked when that ambassador walked by and all hell broke loose as I witnessed my first real media frenzy in person. I remembered what I love journalism for, I found that energy, that drive, that need to find the story and tell it to the world. I had the edge back, and not a damned thing was going to stop me.

Then another lawmaker stepped up to the microphone.

Representative Jerry Moran of Kansas, who represents my home district, was three feet in front of me. He spoke and walked off, and I chased him down and told him I was there to report for a few Kansas newspapers. Few things get a politicians attention like being on the spot before your constituents or getting an opportunity to tell them what they want to hear, and he was happy to grant me an interview.

And it was a good interview that provided more useful quotes-per-second than most interviews. I mean, I usually have to talk to a person for twenty minutes before they'll start giving me quotes like hedid. So either I was on the top of my game, or he was. Either way, between the Moran interview and the absolute gold Roberts gave the reporters -- including a plan to use cattle prods on Japanese politicians to get them to reach a decision on importing U.S. beef -- I had a great story.

Yes, that's right, use cattle prods on Japanese officials. His press secretary told me he meant it too, afterwards.

I can't make this stuff up.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Wire Story

Senate intelligence chief lays out plans for oversight of intelligence reform

By Logan C. Adams
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON - Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., admitted that reorganizing the intelligence community will be difficult but rejected notions that CIA has outlived its usefulness.

Roberts, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, laid out his plans for the future of intelligence reform Thursday for an audience of about 70 people at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Roberts countered claims that the reorganization of the intelligence community would render the CIA redundant. He responded to a recent quote in the Washington Post from an “unnamed former senior intelligence official” who likened the CIA to “a wounded gazelle on the African plains” and “a pile of bleached bones.”

“It was less a reflection of a reality than it was a reflection of understandable concern, if not outright fear, of change that some in the intelligence community are experiencing,” he said. “We need change, and not just a month of change or even a year of change. We need sustained fundamental change that becomes a continuing process of adaptation to newly emerging threats.”

Roberts also spoke about the difficulties of reorganizing the intelligence community’s structure.

“We shouldn’t be surprised if a toe gets stepped on here and there as our national security agencies get more proactive in their work,” he said.

He said managing the new structure is important. “We do not want 15 different agencies tripping over each other trying to recruit the same source,” Roberts said.

The senator discussed allegations that the CIA employs torture overseas.

“Let me assure you again that the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with the House Intelligence Committee, is well aware of what the CIA is doing in the defense of our nation, and they are not torturing any detainee,” he said.

Roberts did concede that one civilian contractor who had been working for the CIA was indicted for assaulting a detainee on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan and that other cases are being investigated. He said a congressional investigation into detainee abuse is unnecessary.

“Congress actually created the CIA’s Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice to conduct these types of investigations in the first place,” he said. “I think it just makes sense if we allow them to do their work.”

The senator outlined the three main reform issues he will be focusing on: improving human intelligence collection, improving intelligence analysis and changing the current intelligence community culture of “information ownership” to one of “information access.” He does not support a system of “information sharing.”

“I believe ‘information sharing’ is a limited idea that falsely implies that the data collector is also the data owner,” he said. “It relies on the data owner to push the information to those who actually need it.” He said that to be effective, analysts with clearance should be able to pursue information from other agencies.

Finally, Roberts said that the committee will be examining the capabilities of the intelligence community to avert further mistakes like those that led to the invasion of Iraq.

“This work has already begun with an examination of the intelligence community’s capabilities, underscore the word ‘capabilities,’ with respect to Iran,” he said. “We call it pre-emptive oversight.”

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A thursday night without ER

At noon today I was sitting in a room on the sixth floor of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Journalists waiting for Sen. Pat Roberts to give a speech that was scheduled for 12:00. Only he wasn't there. An aide walked up to the podium and announced that there had been a stacked vote and the senator would be late. It was at that moment I cursed myself for not bringing my iPod.

Ten minutes later another aide walked up and said that Roberts had finished voting, and was on his way over from the White House.

Ok, let's think this out. Roberts is a Senator. He votes in the Capitol. The Woodrow Wilson Center is pretty much right between the Capitol and the White House. Thus, something doesn't add up.

But he got there, and he gave his speech.

At one point, Sen. Pat Roberts stopped talking about Intelligence Reform and asked all the reporters present to cheer for K-State tonight against the Aggies. Then he started talking about Intelligence Reform again.

I'd put a transition here, but I'm too lazy.

I went for a walk earlier tonight because I was in one of those moods where you want to go for a walk at night. I went all over the place.

And I stopped at the church on my block, the one I go to almost every Sunday. It was locked, I just stood at the door and stared at it.

That's all I really have to say tonight.

Another reason to be proud of my father:

I have many reasons to be proud of my father.

He's a hard-working man who earned everything he owned and allowed me to reach the age of 19 and not once trying to kill me, no matter how much I tempted him.

But here's another reason: He never invited Fred Phelps to protest at my school.

Yeah Dad, I just used you to make political commentary. Aren't you proud of me?

Wire Story

House approves National Tartan Day

By Logan C. Adams
Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON -- Julia Child, Andrew Carnegie, Samuel Morse, Edgar Allan Poe, one-tenth of Nobel Prize winners, 35 Supreme Court justices, one-third of all U.S. secretaries of state and one-fourth of U.S. presidents have something in common.

They all share a Scottish heritage, and Congress wants to celebrate their achievements with a new holiday.

In a voice vote Wednesday, the House unanimously approved a resolution calling for President Bush to declare a national holiday to honor Scottish-Americans.

Reps. John Duncan, R-Tenn.; Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.; Candice Miller, R-Mich.; and Danny Davis, D-Ill., spoke in support of making April 6 "National Tartan Day."

The word "tartan" refers to the pattern of traditional Scottish Highland clothing and has become a word that refers to all of Scottish culture, said John Bellassai, president of the Washington St. Andrew Society.

"The terms 'tartan' and 'plaid' get kind of confused and interchanged, but 'tartan' is the proper word," he said.

Bellassai said St. Andrew is to the Scots what St. Patrick is to the Irish, and there are several St. Andrew societies nationwide, the largest of which is in Illinois.

The date is significant _ it's the anniversary of the 1320 signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence.

"Like the U.S. Declaration of Independence, it was signed by several representatives of the population," said McIntyre in a telephone interview. "There was a long list of concerns and grievances against the English royalty, and it claimed Scotland's independence, and it asserted the people's right to set up their own government."

Bellassai, whose grandfather emigrated from Scotland in 1910, said, "A number of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were either born in Scotland or were of Scottish ancestry."

In the 2000 Census, about 8.6 percent of Americans who claimed an overseas ancestry said they were Irish, compared to 1.4 percent who said they were Scottish and 1.5 percent who said they were Scotch-Irish. The Scotch-Irish immigrated to the United States from Northern Ireland, but trace their ancestry to Scotland.

The language of the House resolution is nearly identical to one sponsored by Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., in 1998, that passed the Senate unanimously.

Americans would be happy to celebrate National Tartan Day, according to some people walking near the White House over the lunch hour Wednesday.

Bill McFadden, a senior policy adviser at the Treasury Department who is of Scottish ancestry, said there should be such a national holiday.

"I think they ought to broaden it to Scotch-Irish because the two are the same," he said. "The reason being is all anyone needs to do is read a number of books to realize that contemporary Western civilization is an outgrowth of the Scotch-Irish."

Daniel Saucy, 54, a dentist from Salem, Ore., who was in the capital to visit his representative, didn't care when the holiday is assigned, as long as it happens.

"It's like a perfect country," Saucy said. He has no Scottish heritage, but he does have enthusiasm for the culture. "I like scotch, I like fishing, I like heather, I like bagpipes. ... I'm not kidding you, I wouldn't say this about Finland. I wouldn't say this about Norway."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Attack of the Scots!

I started my workday in the House Chamber Press Gallery today, covering action and a vote on H Res. 41, a resolution that supports the proclamation of a Scottish-American National Holiday.

I walked in, sat down, and waited for the session to begin. Now, when I covered the State of the Union, the press gallery sat still when the President entered. That's just the way they were.

But today, when they said "all rise," the other reporter there stood up. Now, I know I shouldn't go with the crowd, but I stood up too. I even said the Pledge of Allegiance with the Representatives. Now, I must've looked dumb, all the regulars on the floor were looking at me funny. But it wasn't dumb, because while I was standing I got a better view of who was standing below me so in the end, I was better-informed. As Bill Cosby once said "We are dumb, but then, we are not so dumb."

They went through a string of one-minutes, where Representatives just stand at a podium and rant on something or rave on something else of their choosing for an allotted one minute.

Then the real action started. They announced the bill, four lawmakers spoke in support of it. At one point, a congressman pointed at the guest gallery, located on the other side of the room from the press gallery, where there were two guests dressed in Kilts in support of the resolution. They stood up, smiled, and sat down, pulling their kilts with them to avoid exposing themselves to the United States House of Representatives Press Gallery.

He was then chastised for pointing out someone in the Gallery, that is a no-no, it seems.

They stopped "debating," (no one was opposed to it, I just can't think of a better term at the moment) and then they had a voice vote. All twenty or so said "Yeah," none said "Nay," and it was passed unanimously. So if anyone reading this is totally opposed to anyone celebrating "National Tartan Day," guess what.

You got disenfranchised. Sucks to be you.

I then tried to find one of the congressmen outside, like he had agreed to do, but sadly, I could not find him for I had been held up and he couldn't wait very long.

So I hit the metro and returned to home base. I started on the story, and then my editor told me it really need some MOS (Man On the Street), then corrected herself and told me it needed some Person On the Street. Then I pointed out that would be called these people POS's, or Pieces Of Sh*t. We agreed it should just be "Individual On the Street," or IOS.

And that I needed some of it. I decided that 1600 Pennslyvannia Avenue would make a good enough street, and ran, er, jogged, er, walked briskly to the White House. I got some people on the street to comment, one of them was the spitting image of Donald Sutherland. Only he worked nextdoor to the White House.

I got my quotes, and made my way back to the bureau quickly to get the story done on deadline. Made phone calls, did research, you know the drill by now, right?

So the story is on the wire now, I think the Scripps Howard News Service Wire picked it up, so that's good news in and of itself. Even more good news: if they make a holiday for Scottish-Americans, my friend Jocelyn will have a holiday to call her own. Let's have a cheer for Jocelyn.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I must be famous, I am being stalked, after all

Hey guys, someone is trying to ruin the "anyone can comment" thing I got going on here, and it's getting rather old.

So, if someone here could try and identify whoever it is, it would be appreciated.

Plus, I don't want to have to take away comment privileges from all you non-blogspot-members.

Monday, March 07, 2005

To K-State Students who are going to vote tomorrow

I recieved the following message from a person I trust. Please consider it.

The Student Governing Association general election is Tuesday and Wednesday, March 8 and 9. One race in this election that has not received a lot of attention in past years is the Board of Student Publications. This is the Board of Directors for the corporation that oversees the publication of Kansas State Collegian, the Royal Purple Yearbook and the Campus Phone Book. I encourage you to vote for the following people for this board.

Board of Student Publications, Two-year Term:
Will Byer
write-in: WILLIAM RUDOLPH VON BEYER III, College of Engineering

Board of Student Publications, One-year Term:

Ryan Underwood, 1-year term
write-in: RYAN PAUL UNDERWOOD, College of Arts & Sciences

Julie Ney, 1-year term
write-in: JULIE ROSE NEY, College of Arts & Sciences

Josh Criswell, 1-year term

My hair hurts

Well, I wanted to get a story done today. Only I didn't, I was in this mood that just made it impossible to focus all morning and afternoon, which turned into a headache by the time I left that turned me into Phineas Gage.

On the way home I passed a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk playing the saxophone. Next to him was a sign that read:

but not sitting
on my
shaking a

I walked about 30 feet and stopped. I remembered the guy I saw squatting on the sidewalk this morning, snarling, smoking, waving his hand for change and looking at me like I was obligated by law to give him money. (He didn't get a cent, while those that smile and act nice do, from time to time).

I went back and put a dollar in the can of the musician. He may have been horribly out of key, but he made me chuckle when I felt like I had an iron rod jammed through my skull, and that counts for something.

And he used the word "Arse," which I find interesting on its own, for some reason.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sunday Evening Coming Down

Today I went for a walk without any destination. I just up and left the apartment and journeyed out into the world neither knowing nor caring where I might end up.

Before I left, I went up to the girls' apartment to say hello and check on Kate as she's been sick lately. I stayed a moment, and as I left I somewhat explained what I was going to do; that I was going out for no real reason at all.

And as I walked out the door, with a tone of voice that held both confusion and clarity, Kate says "I hope you find what you're looking for."

I hopped on the Red line and took it to Maryland, where I stayed on the platform in Silver Spring and took the first train back to D.C. That way, I can at least say I was in more than one state today, and feel artificially special about it. Yay for me.

I left the subway at Union Station, which is the best stop to use if you want to go into the Senate office buildings or the Senate side of the capitol because it's pretty much straight north of the Capitol.

I walked south, onto the mall right in front of the Capitol. Tourists of every sort were everywhere. A few Veterans on vacation, a nice amount of regular familes, and giant swarming hordes of junior-high school kids being partially controlled by the poor aides that they outnumbered 20 to 1, at best.

I grew bored with the Capitol and decided to check out the Executive Branch. I boarded the Orange line south of the Capitol and took it to McPherson Square, which is a block north of Lafeyette Park and two blocks north of the White House.

I learned something new there at the White House today: people play roller hockey on Pennslyvannia Avenue, right there, less than a football field from the highest office in the country. It was fun to watch as the players, who I think might have been off-duty Secret Service Agents or Capitol Police Officers, wheeled around on this somewhat hallowed ground.

Then I saw an anti-Bush display on the sidewalk with a woman sitting in it that seemed eerily familar. Then it hit me.

At one point in the film "Farenheit 9/11" (a personal favorite of mine, seriously) Michael Moore is talking to a mother of a U.S. soldier who had died in Iraq, and they happen upon a person manning a yellow anti-Bush mini-booth near the White House.

It was her, and she looked asleep. People stopped by and read the signs, then continued on their way. As far as I can tell, they remained uninspired by the words "Live by the bomb, die by the bomb."

Maybe I should've kicked her awake and asked her for her autograph.

I left the White House's amazing presence and walked north on 16th street, and took a left on K, a street that an upcoming show on HBO is supposed to be named for, or so I hear.

I got back on the Red line and took her home.

As I stepped out of the station, my thoughts returned to what Kate had said before I left, and I smiled.

I had left the apartment looking for nothing in particular, hell, nothing at all.

And gosh darn it all, I found somthing out there today.

I found peace.

And a sports arena at 1600 Pennslyvannia Avenue.

What the?

You know, I allow anonymous comments on this site, and I think it's nice of me to let that be. I let people say whatever they please about me and my words without fear of retribution or reply to words I put my name on. And I'm cool with that.

But if you're going to leave a comment like this without identifying yourself, well then, I'm sorry to be harsh, but it makes no sense without identification.

So who are you?

Saturday, March 05, 2005


I got my hair cut today, as the foliage atop my head was starting to make my neck hurt from the weight.

Don't think I'm kidding, when the wind picked up a few days ago I damn near got carried away to Virginia by the fuzzy sail that had come into being upon my skull.

So first I went to the this place called "HAIRCUTS by MARY!"

Big mistake.

I walked into this place, which was really a salon, and met a woman who was the kind of person that you don't want to have holding sharp objects anywhere near your head.

So I acted like I was a confused young man who had forgotten his medication and then left "HAIRCUTS by MARY!" and went to SUPERCUTS, one metro stop away. This was much, much better.

I took off my coat, and the hat that had been holding my hair down so that I wouldn't be a hazard to low-flying aircraft. My hair had stuck together in this awful dome that the barber/hairdresser/whatever started picking at to judge my hair's length.

But she only picked at one side, which reset itself in a way that made me look like Gumby.

She started with the sides, made her way up to the top, and pretty soon, had laid to waste the thing some of my firends call "the fro."

Now, don't think I like my new haircut. I've never liked my haircut.

I just hate this one less than the one I used to have, which is more than enough for me.

Public Bloodletting©

I hit a snag this afternoon.

I'm doing a story on a photographer from Minneapolis, I can't say what the story is for, but part of it required me to look at some of his work.

One set of photographs was from a funeral, and for some reason, they struck a nerve I thought I had made numb some time ago, and before I could stop myself, I had let myself be drug back to some painful memories of things I thought I had wiped from my memory.

Sometimes nightmares catch you when your eyes are wide open.

So I left my desk so that no one could see in case I lost control. I put on my coat and went out on the 10th floor balcony, where I could hide in plain sight as I so often find myself doing.

There was a putter, a few golf balls, and a miniature "green" set up for anyone wanting to practice their short game with the White House in view. I hit a ball, missed wide, and put it all back. I shouldn't be bearing a device that could easily become an implement of death when I'm in a mood like that.

I stood at the railing and stared at the empty pavement below. The idea of jumping did cross my mind, it does every time I walk out there, but it doesn't worry me. Mostly it's out of curiousity over how big a mess it would create, not over some desperate, pathetic desire to escape my problems.

I've seen what happens when that route is taken, and I have no intention of chasing anyone down it.

The beauty of the balcony is the tranquility it provides by letting you look at the chaos being experienced by everyone else in what, as far as you can tell at the moment, is the entire world. You just stand there as sheer anarchy flows beneath you, and it is peaceful in the strangest way.

Your problems shrink. The fury they had seemed to hold beforehand evaporates and once again you control your world, at least for a little while.

I turned away from the railing and stepped inside, and walked back to my desk after putting my coat away and I started writing again.

I'm in control.

And I'm doing just fine.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Where Memory Lane meets McKenzie Street

Way back in High School I dreamed of being a syndicated cartoonist. I had the humor, or at least I believed as much. I tried to develop the artistic skills, and my junior year I scored an honorable mention at the state level in the Kansas Scholastic Press Association's journalism competition.

I carried it over to college, and my first semester at Kansas State I launched McKenzie Street, my own comic strip. I named it after a family back in Council Grove that had encouraged me to pursue artistic expression in college, and had given me some money at my graduation from High School with which to do it. I used a bit of that money to buy my art supplies.

I had 4 characters: Laramie, Garrison, Hubert, and Bob; and I tried to turn it into a successful venture.

A friend of mine, Katie, loved the cartoons. Or at least she told me she did so I wouldn't be hurt, and she told me I should apply to be a cartoonist for the Collegian, and I took her advice.

While I filled out the application, I also marked down to apply to be a columnist, since I'd done it before and figured I could do it again.

I didn't get either job, at least not at first. Not long after the semester started, I got an email that asked me to be a columnist since one of the ones already serving had to take a break to run for student office. I took the job, figuring I could get my foot in the door so I could do some artwork.

The columns happened, but they asked me to stop submitting editorial cartoons after 3 attempts that were my best work. I was crushed, and I never made another comic.

Whether it was undeveloped talent or a waste of time, I'll never know.

But I stuck with the columns, and I found my true art calling later on, photography. I used up the last of the money the McKenzie's gift to buy my camera, and I kept with the Collegian and made some great friends.

My photos have won one small award, and have been sent out on the Scripps Howard News Service Wire to newspapers nationwide.

And my writing is getting better each day.

But my love of comics and editorial cartoons did not die. I still read them constantly, and I know many of the current greats by a single glance at one of their cartoons.

I interviewed one of the greats yesterday and again today. It was amazing, me, once a wannabe, now a never-will-be cartoonist talking to a man who was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize last year.

At the end of the interview, he stops me and thanks me for the interview, and he said it was the first time he actually enjoyed being interviewed. He could've just been padding my ego so I'd write about him really nicely.

But he sounded pretty sincere, no matter how cynically I viewed his words.

It's been almost three years since I won that KSPA editorial cartoon award, more than a year since I drew a comic, and it's bewildering to me how I turned out like this. I'm a newswriter, and a photographer, and I'm working in the nation's capital.

I don't draw cartoons anymore, I don't need to.