January 31, 2008

Reliability, the Internet and India

Many parts of Asia, the Middle East and north Africa are without Internet access for a second consecutive day after a cable was cut on the bed of the Mediterranean between Italy and Egypt yesterday. A ship’s anchor is thought to have been responsible.

The accident led to major disruptions in the Internet supply for Egypt, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, and as far a field as India. Repairs may take upwards of two weeks... it's on the bottom of the sea, after all.

Some doctors in the Ft. Wayne area outsource their medical transcription to India, cheaper you know...

But for the companies that outsource, they got a shock yesterday when two cables suffered unconnected but simultaneous damage.

The first just offshore Alexandria in Egypt where it is described as "cut." The same fate has been applied to another cable close to the shore in Marseilles, France.

The cables were not managed by the same companies and there is no suggestion that there was any foul play.

But the effect was that a huge area was - and in some cases remains - affected. The French cable runs from France, around India and across to Singapore. Slow internet has been reported across South East Asia today.

For the purchasers of outsourced services, this provides a major thrust with regard to both service level agreements and ensuring that service providers have fail safe systems - not just for the more common electricity outages but for major breaks in the comms networks.

Girls Squash Adams Central

Norwell 74, Adams Central 36. The girls move to 15-4 on the season.
After a lackadaisical first half in which they led by just 10 at 27-17, the Norwell Knights girls basketball team came out “with a purpose” in the non-conference game and they reached the Webster’s definition as they poured gas on the fire in the second half and steamrolled over the Adams Central Jets, 74-36. The Knights, ranked 11th in class 3A in the state girls poll last week, “came out with more of a purpose in the second half.

Copper Thieves Burned

Some thieves tried to steal copper right out of a substation down around Bloomington. It didn't go so well.
Authorities say someone broke into the Hoosier Energy substation Wednesday evening around 7:30 and tried to steal copper wiring.

"Whoever was in here cut the grounds off of our equipment and when he did that, it caused a serious arch and explosion of some of equipment in the substation," said Phillip Mattison of the South Central Indiana REMC.

Investigators think the thieves may have suffered burns at that power station. They're hoping that information may help led them to the people responsible.

Norwell Swimmers

A nice article in the Ft. Wayne paper about Norwell Swimmer Luke Towne: first team all conference

Note: Paige Brink, Logan Brink and Luke Towne each were first team all-conference picks at the 2008 Northeast Hoosier Conference girls and boys swimming and diving championships at Fort Wayne.

That other Norwell

I mentioned the other day that there's another Norwell High School out in Massachusetts. I know I've been out of school for a long time, but "Co-Ed Varsity Wrestling?"

Betcha they look forward to practice a lot... though that fellow in the picture doesn't look like he's having any fun at all.

Ice Age Coming?

Low solar flux density values

I guess it's a good thing humanity is warming the earth.

Snow Coming

January 30, 2008

Cheerleaders go to Worlds

From the Bluffton News-Banner Sports Roundup
Cassie Bender from Norwell Middle School and Caitlyn Wren from Norwell High School will be competing on the Total Cheer Academy Junior Squad at the world competition at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., on April 26-27.

Bluffton now 15-0

Bluffton 67, Wabash 53
In the final analysis, Wabash simply couldn’t contend with Bluffton’s considerable size advantage.

With Brock Woodward at 6-7 and Trent Herman at 6-5 banging the boards, Bluffton enjoyed a whopping 33-17 advantage in the rebounding department.

Norwell 55, Heritage 32

There is another Norwell High School, out in Massachusetts, so when I write about prep scores I have to make sure I have the right school. The boys have had such a tough year, you'll forgive me if I thought "Norwell 55, Heritage 32" was a score from that other Norwell.

But happy to say, it is our own Alma Mater

The Knights outscored the Patriots in every quarter at home. Ryne Otis (13), Klay Fiechter (12) and Klayton Reed (10) led Norwell.

The boys win their 2nd straight and move to 6-9 on the season.

January 29, 2008

Florida Squeaker

The Republicans are having a tight, winner-take-all, primary in Florida. Click here to see the current status. Will it be McCain, or Romney?

On the Democrat side, Hillary wins, taking all zero delegates.
The Inventure Group reports that their Burger King branded salted snacks are testing even better than they hoped. They plan on rolling out the snacks nationwide -- which is good news for Bluffton since that's where they are made. I guess the Inventure Group purchased Mann's Pretzel factory back in 1999.

The Ketchup and Fries look particularly tasty, don't they... :: shudder :: Oh, well, shudder and all, they are made in America, made in Indiana, made in Bluffton.

I always wondered

Where beetles come from


I don't know what these guys were thinking -- whoever heard of doing donuts in the Norwell parking lot. I am certain no Sevens member ever did any such thing.

And I have to take away style points because there were plenty of lightpoles they could have gotten much closer to hitting.

Shipshewana pajama sale

The annual Shipshewana pajama sale is this Saturday  you have to be wearing your PJ's to get free food and discounts, some stores open as early as 4am.

January 28, 2008

National Champion

A lot of great success falls under the radar of the big, local media outlets. Ian Barnard, for example, is a local kid from Kendallville who's now attending Purdue. But Ian and his horse, Beamer, are World and National Champions (pay site). Ian and Beamer won the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) North American Affiliation Championship last month. They also won National and World competitions in 2005 and 2006.
In horse competition circles in states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Texas, Barnard is practically a star. His reputation is so well-known he was recently elected president of the National Reining Horse Youth Association, and will travel the country attending conferences and presiding over meetings with the association paying the travel expenses.

Winning the “triple crown” in horse reining is a rare achievement... The 2007 East Noble graduate credits his 7-year-old horse for the honors they’ve received.
“Consistency is the key in this sport, and Beamer has been great to work with,” he said. “He’s really a well-minded horse, easy to be around and his ears perk up when he knows it’s time to go to work.”

Reining involves guiding the horse through a rigid set of maneuvers, including roll backs, spins, sliding stops, lead changes, running circles and backing up. Riders must have absolute control over their horse.


This picture gives me a headache

Girls Beat East Noble

Norwell 53, East Noble 37. Norwell moves to 14-4 on the season. They won the NHC Conference Title with a 6-1 record having lost only to Carroll in overtime. Two non-conference games remain on the season, Adams Central (4-13) and Southern Wells (12-5).
Norwell, and Chaney in particular, would ensure that East Noble would get no closer. The 5-10 junior had a hand in every point in Norwell’s 8-0 run to close out the first half, notching a pair of assists to accompany a three-pointer as the Knights of Ossian took a 16-point advantage into the locker room.

Chaney finished game-highs in points (24), rebounds (nine), assists (four) and steals (eight).

“Chaney has the ability to do that,” Thornton said. “She got hot tonight, and I thought she was just really aggressive and attacking the basket.”

Congratulations, girls!

Norwell swept East Noble by winning the junior varsity and freshman games.

Caitlyn McGrew scored 15 points to lead the junior varsity to a 41-26 victory. Caitlyn Ailor added seven, Alyssa Smith six, Rachel McAfee four, Kali Herndon four, Breanna Wilson two, Brittany Schumm two and Erin Hayes one.

Amanda McAfee netted 20 to power the freshmen to a 34-17 romp. Amber Haiflich, Eden Chaney and Kelsey Kintz each added four and Rachel Lind had two.

Can Tiger be Stopped?

With Tiger's win at the Buick yesterday, he ties Arnold Palmer for career wins. How do the other players drag themselves out of bed, one wonders. I didn't really follow the coverage of hurt feelings on the Golf Channel when announcer Kelly Tilghman said that maybe the rest of the PGA field would like to "lynch him in a back alley." Tiger (showing the class he always seems to show) was able to shrug the comment off as the bad joke it was. Still, Tilghman was suspended for two weeks for the comment. Golfweek magazine, however, decided to run picture of a noose which stirred it all up again. Now ex-football star Jim Brown is complaining that Tiger Woods wasn't upset enough and doesn't do enough for the Black Community (in other words, Tiger doesn't do politics, because he does plenty of charity work).

How about we just kick back and watch him play. The one sure way to stop Tiger's march through history is to turn him into something he's not. Jim Brown, after all, quit pro football when he was 30 after only 9 years so he could be in the movies. Shall Tiger cut his career short to go on the campaign trail with the candidate of his choice, or to run a charitable foundation, or to just kick back like Jim Brown and complain about other people's fame being wasted?

Let him be.

Girls 3A Sectional Pairings

Norwell (14-4) draws Bellmont (12-7)

In 3A, the 2007 state runner-up and top-ranked Wawasee (16-2) will play host to NorthWood (13-5) in the first game. All seven teams in the sectional are .500 or better.

At another 3A site, No. 2 Elmhurst (18-2) drew host Maconaquah (14-5) in the second game, while No. 11 Norwell (14-4) will play NHC rival Bellmont (12-7) in the bye game.

In the 2A pairings, Luers (12-7) draws Bluffton (12-7)

Bishop Luers travels to Bluffton in a Class 2A opener. Not only is it a matchup of the two top teams in the sectional, but Tigers coach Glenn Cunningham gets a chance to see firsthand what he passed on in the offseason.

Cunningham, a veteran girls basketball coach, completed his first year with Bluffton last season and finished with a 12-10 record. Then the Luers head coaching position opened when [Sevens member] Teri Rosinski resigned and moved to California.

Cunningham expressed interest in the Luers' job and interviewed for the position.

He ultimately decided to remain at Bluffton.

January 27, 2008

"I thought it was a lie"

What was that rule of thumb I wrote about here just yesterday? "One boy playing has a brain, two boys playing have half a brain and three boys playing have no brain at all..." Well, two Chesterton, Indiana boys proved the half a brain theory by living out the famous flagpole scene from "A Christmas Story."

Billie Dempsey, Gavin's mom, said a nurse called them to tell them the boys' tongues were bleeding.

"The nurse asked them, 'OK, who double-dog dared who?'"

Bluffton Boys, 14-0

You have to give credit where credit is due... The Bluffton Tigers are 14-0 this year.

Miss Indiana

The Miss America pageant isn't as popular as it once was, I don't really know why -- but Miss Indiana came in 2nd last night (first runner up). Miss Michigan won. Miss Indiana (Nicole Rash) was also Miss Ball State. She's from Plymouth.

The Coleman Letter


January 26, 2008

'78 Blizzard Explained

Greg Shoup explains the Blizzard of '78

The Superbowl

We almost beat them once -- the Onion, with another funny article...

NEW YORK—As they come closer to their Super Bowl clash with the formidable Patriots—the team they nearly defeated in late December—the Giants are confident that they can come close to beating the undefeated AFC champions on football's biggest stage.

"This team has already tasted victory against the Patriots," head coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. "By which I mean we were so close to victory that we could taste it. True, we did not actually experience that victory, but we came as close to beating them as anyone else has this season. That's the kind of team we believe we are, and I think the Super Bowl will prove that."

Couglin and his assistant coaches have been painstakingly breaking down game films from their Week 17 meeting with New England, analyzing every vital, near-victorious second for anything that might help them come that tantalizingly close to winning for the second time in as many months.

Rules of Thumb

A huge collection of rules of thumb for example,
On kids playing: One boy has a brain. Two boys have half a brain. Three boys have no brain.
Renee, Glass Artist Mother of Five, Summerville, SC, USA

On Antiques: If a one-drawer stand has more than two pieces of wood on the top, it's a new top.
Paul Polce, Ponzi's Antiques, Trumansburg, New York

Getting back in shape: Recovering an unused physical skill takes one month for each year of layoff.
Norman Brenner, Fleetwood, New York

If you are on the scene of an emergency and need help, point to one specific person and say "You, call 911" (or whatever the number is for emergencies where you are) This gets the invidual involved in a personal way where saying "someone call 911" will not.
Waldo Weyeris, Engineer, Boulder, CO, USA

The list is long...

10 Years Ago

I don't want to get too political here, but I found The many lies of Bill Clinton an interesting, short article.
Barack Obama this week seemed amazed and befuddled when former President Bill Clinton blatantly lied about various remarks the Democratic senator and presidential aspirant made on the campaign trail. His befuddlement may give evidence of Obama’s inexperience. After all, it was 10 years ago tomorrow that Clinton looked right into a TV lens — thus looking every American in the eye — and told us a bold-faced, despicable lie...

What resulted from the lie was a yearlong impeachment battle that would lastingly poison the American political system. It should make Americans wary of letting Bill Clinton anywhere near the White House ever again.

Clinton’s lies about Obama this week show that he has not changed one bit. Former Clinton aide Gregory Craig, who was at his side during most of the Lewinsky scandal, now is an adviser for Obama. This week, he put it best about the man he knows so well: “Events raise the question, if Hillary’s campaign can’t control Bill, whether Hillary’s White House could.”

Was the Right right about the Clintons?

Boys squeak past East Noble

Norwell 40, East Noble 36 in overtime

“It was a tough chess match,” said a very happy Doug Hicks, Norwell’s head coach. “Both teams know each other very well, but everybody played well for us tonight, especially (Jeremy) McGrew.”

McGrew, a junior, seemed to take it upon himself to fill the missing void of fellow junior Drew Imel, who quit the team earlier this week for personal reasons.

McGrew scored a team-high 20 points for the Knights, including 5 of 5 from the free-throw line. In overtime, he made the deciding basket on a lay-up and foul shot to put Norwell ahead for good with 1:30 to go.

Norwell improved to 5-9 overall and 1-4 in the NHC. East Noble dropped to 4-9 and 2-3 in conference play.

January 25, 2008

Knights outswim Concordia

The Norwell boys and girls swim teams both defeated Concordia on Thursday

The Norwell girls took first place in all of the 12 events to come away with a 122-54 victory.

In the boys meet, the Knights won 106-67 with Luke Towne scoring two individual firsts.

Nice Swimming!

January 24, 2008

Hackers vs. Scientology

Hackers declare war on Scientology

The hackers appear to be upset over the way the church tried to eliminate a video of Tom Cruise from the Internet. "We shall proceed to expel you from the Internet and systematically dismantle the church of scientology in its present form," says the video's narrator. "We are anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."

The Hackers have had some success, but they're up against a dangerous foe.

Part of the original Cruise video

Jerry O'Connell spoof of the above

Links to the full Cruise video

Museum of Mankind

The Secret Museum of Mankind is really a strange and interesting book. The text (from before World War II, I would guess) is offensive and often racist -- but there are thousands of amazing pictures from every culture in the world. The site at the link has the entire book, every page of five volumes, scanned for online viewing. I can image students using the book to write essays about past cultures, or how views of humanity have changed through the years, or even about how western culture has changed since the Secret Museum was published.

Misheard Lyrics


I'm experimenting with embedding other forms of video. The above video may require you to install an add-on windows media player for your browser. If you don't want to mess with it, you can click here to see the video above on YouTube.

January 23, 2008

Biofuel Threat

The world's rush to embrace biofuels is causing a spike in the price of corn and other crops and could worsen water shortages and force poor communities off their land, a U.N. official said Wednesday.
Initially, biofuels were held up as a panacea for countries struggling to cope with the rising cost of oil or those looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union, for example, plans to replace 10 percent of transport fuel with biofuels made from energy crops such as sugar cane and rapeseed oil by 2020.

But in recent months, scientists, private agencies and even the British government have said biofuels could do more harm than good.

It is not a good idea to use your food and drinking water for fuel.

The Human Camera

Norwell, Bluffton Split Swim Meet

The girls overpowered Bluffton, winning 126-59, but the boys didn't have the depth to follow up on their first place finishes and lost 88-97.

Steady State

In light of the current Global Warming debate, where  politics and political correctness seem to carry the case as much or more than science.  I thought I'd post this article about a similar debate between the the Steady State theory of the Universe vs. the Big Bang theory.  If nothing else, it is an interesting read.

Boys lose to Wayne

Norwell 47, Wayne 61. Norwell drops to 4-9 on the season.

Harding beats Luers

Harding avenges lone loss

Class 3A No. 6 Harding notched a 75-65 win over 2A No. 3 Bishop Luers.  The Hawks broke the Knights' nine-game winning streak, avenging their only loss of the season and staying unbeaten in the SAC.  Luers Sophomore DeShaun Thomas led the Knights with 33 points.  Luers (10-3, 4-2), hadn't lost since Dec. 8.

January 22, 2008

Ossian Killer Pleas

Fort Wayne man admits to manslaughter

In October 2006, the body of Debra Wilson, 45, was found inside her single-story house in Ossian. Wilson’s 21-year-old daughter discovered the body.

Wells County Coroner Doug Cale said an autopsy revealed she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Wilson’s death became the first homicide in Ossian in recent memory, and the first in Wells County in just more than a decade.

Witnesses told police they saw a man carrying a laundry basket leave Wilson’s home Oct. 10, 2006, walking toward Indiana 1. Arrested in December, Brabson was identified on a video taken inside a Fort Wayne store while he shopped with Wilson.

No trial. He pleads to a Class A Felony and doesn't stand trial for murder.

Web Cams

Top rated U.S. web cams

Columbia Prof Bomber

Bomb-making factory found in Brooklyn apartment of Columbia Professor

Professor of what, you might ask?  A Professor of Medical Anthropology which involves studying how diseases spread through populations. 

Police stumbled upon a bomb-making factory Sunday in the home of a Columbia professor who specializes in the spread of infectious disease - and are investigating whether he and his roommate have terror ties.

Cops evacuated the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood around the Remsen St. home of Michael Clatts, a medical anthropologist, after finding seven pipe bombs fitted with fuses in his flat, police sources said

Columbia is denying that the man has any association with the school and he is apparently out of the country or otherwise missing.

January 21, 2008


Norwell Wrestles Well

Click on the picture of Hunter Harper above to go to the Bluffton Banner article on the match.
DECATUR — The Norwell Knights went to this year’s Northeast Hoosier Conference at Bellmont High School with three seeded wrestlers, but claimed six top-four placings.

Senior Hunter Harper led the Knights, winning the 215-pound division, grinding out a 4-2 points decision in the final.

Senior Matt Becker (152 pounds) and juniors Logan Dillon (171) and Brandon Tucker (112) placed second in their respective divisions, while senior Paul Frank (285) and freshman Dakota Boldrey (160) placed fourth.

Dungy to Return

Dungy has reportedly decided to return for another year with the Colts

Dungy is scheduled to announce his decision at a 4:30 p.m. news conference.

Girls outswim Oak Hill

The 20th ranked Norwell Girls Swim Team defeated Oak Hill 98-87 while the boys lost 62-124

Paige Brink won the 200 yard individual medley in 2:20.67 and the 100 yard freestyle in 55.38 seconds.

Brooke Cossairt won the 100 yard butterfly in 1:04.48 and the 500 yard freestyle in 5:43.32.

Freshman Logan Brink also played a key role, taking first place in the 50 yard freestyle in 25.2 seconds and placing second in the 100 free in 55.75.

Lindsey Stronczek was third in the 200 free in 2:21.55 and Kelly Brewer third in the 50 free in 26.44.

Oak Hill?

Indiana Schools

Indiana ranks first in the nation for standards, assessments and accountability

For the second consecutive year, Indiana ranked first nationally for its high academic, testing and accountability standards. The rankings for K-12 students and schools are part of the annual Quality Counts report by Education Week, a national weekly magazine devoted to education matters. Overall, Indiana received a "B-," which ranks above the nation's grade of a "C." No state received higher than a B.

Standards, Assessments and Accountability – Indiana Ranking: 1

Indiana achieved the highest rating of all states for its academic standards, assessments and accountability system. Indiana has consistently received national recognition in these areas since revising state standards in 2000 and aligning its assessments and accountability system with these rigorous expectations.

K-12 Achievement – Indiana Ranking: 25

State rankings in this area were determined using nine indicators that included areas such as student scores on Advance Placement (AP) tests, high school graduation rates, changes in the poverty gap and how well students did in reading and math with National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP).

The Teaching Profession – Indiana Ranking: 28

The report ranked Indiana 28th for factors related to teaching as a profession. It gave higher scores to states that tied teacher evaluation to student performance, provided financial incentives to teachers and principals to work in high needs schools, and had a state requirement that all teachers be evaluated on an annual basis. Currently, these issues are handled by local Indiana school boards.

Interesting... I think the k-12 Achievement being #1 is the goal... let's hope the Standards work to get us there.

Young Drivers

Statistics show that young drivers are more accident prone

Next thing you know, there will be an article that claims politicians are more likely to lie than normal folk.

Big Ten Basketball Standings

I don't follow college basketball all that much -- it can take over your life, there are so many games -- but here are the current standings in the Big 10:

Indiana     16-1 overall, 5-0 in the Big 10
Wisconsin  15-2, 5-0
Michigan St. 16-2, 4-1
Purdue 13-5, 4-1
Ohio St. 12-6, 3-2
Minnesota 12-5, 2-3
Penn St. 10-7, 2-3
Iowa 9-10, 2-4
Illinois 9-10, 1-5
Michigan 5-13, 1-5
Northwestern 6-9, 0-5

Ohio St. 15-3 overall, 6-1 in the Big 10
Indiana 12-7, 5-2
Purdue 9-9, 5-2
Minnesota 13-6, 4-3
Penn St. 13-6, 4-3
Michigan 11-6, 4-3
Illinois 11-6, 3-3
Iowa 10-7, 3-3
Michigan St. 11-9, 3-5
Wisconsin 8-9, 1-6
Northwestern  4-15, 0-7

Traffic Court Slows Down

Traffic Cases Pile up after Bluffton Judge resigns

BLUFFTON, Ind. — A northern Indiana mayor has told police to schedule traffic court dates at least two months out after the city court judge quit only two weeks after starting the part-time position.

Gary Markley submitted his resignation to Mayor Ted Ellis on Jan. 15, citing poor record keeping by his predecessor, his own "limited technology skills" and a "lack of knowledge of the requirements of the court system."

Markley wrote that the resignation was necessary for the good of the city about 25 miles south of Fort Wayne. "My sincere apologies to my supporters and the City of Bluffton," he wrote.

The job pays less than $9,500 and involves handling traffic tickets, ordinance violations and other small civil matters.

Gov. Mitch Daniels will appoint Markley's replacement.

I thought that was rather bad form, to run for election, then win, then quit because it's too much work... and blame it all on the last guy.

January 19, 2008

Byron Stagner

Byron Dale Stagner

Wed, 01/16/2008 - 11:30am
By: The Citizen

Byron Dale Stagner, 49, Fayetteville, died Jan. 6, 2008. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul C. and Beatrice Shelby Stagner, and sister, Janet G. Stagner. Memorial services were at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church with Pastor Justin Kollmeyer officiating. Survivors include his wife, Dianne Sharp Stagner, Fayetteville; a son, Ryan Dale Stagner, Fayetteville; a daughter, Donya May Stagner, Fayetteville; a brother, Bruce Stagner, Atlanta; and parents-in-law, Donald and Donajean Sharp, Fayetteville. Memorial donations may be made to the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association, P. O. Box 25792, Tamarac, FL 33320. Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, Fayetteville, was in charge.

Unless our records are wrong, and I don't think they are, the Byron Stagner above was our own Sevens member, though he moved to the Bluffton area our senior year and graduated from Bluffton. Godspeed, Byron.

Snow in Atlanta

Norwell Girls defeat New Haven

Andrea Vogel scored 20 points and Haley Chaney 18 to lead the Norwell Knights girls basketball team to a 70-45 victory over the New Haven Bulldogs Friday night at New Haven.

The Class 3A No. 10 Knights improved their season record to 13-4 and now stand 5-1 in the Northeast Hoosier Conference after muzzling the Bulldogs.

The Norwell junior varsity squad won 40-15 to improve to 12-5. Caitlyn McGrew tallied 13 and Alyssa Smith 10. Caitlyn Ailor had five, Breanna Wilson four, Brittany Schumm three, Kyra Raines two, Kelsey Kline two and Rachel McAfee one.

The 9th-grade Knights lost 42-27. Amanda McAfee had 14 to lead Norwell (13-3).

January 18, 2008

Ulmer Sausage

Sausage making completed for the Ulmers

Gary Ulmer and the family have shut the smokehouse down for the year now that their sausage and jerky making days are completed.

Now their attention shifts to other things, like ice fishing, helping a neighbor finish insulating and sheet rocking the interior of his garage and starting to dismantle the old farm house they moved out of a couple years ago. And we can't forget the daily routine of taking care of their commercial cow herd and the pen of calves they are backgrounding.

The weather did warm up enough so they were able to separate out the cull cows and haul them to the livestock auction in Edgeley. He had wanted to do this earlier, but the cold weather in December put those plans on hold until the temperatures moderated a little.

The nicer weather also allowed the feeding operations to be shifted to the pasture for a few days, which cuts down on the manure buildup in the farm lots and allows the cattle to get a little more exercise. But the winds and chilly temperatures on Thursday (Jan. 10) brought the cow herd back into the lot so they could get out of the wind.

Gary and son Jade recently spent a day at a neighbors helping clip sale bulls so he could take pictures for an upcoming sale catalog.

Gary has a reputation for letting his creative mind work overtime when it comes to making summer sausage. He starts with a basic recipe that calls for a mixture of deer meat and pork back fat and this is combined with all spice, brown sugar and pepper and allowed to sit in a cooler for a week. At the end of the week, the mixture is ground, stuffed into casings and smoked. It's during this final grinding process that Gary gets creative and is known to add a few interesting ingredients.

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's not our Gary Ulmer... but still...

Ossian President

Kent Maggard, Ossian native and once Norwell sports standout, has been named president of the northeast Indiana Fifth Third Bank community

Kent Maggard, a one-time pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, is an Ossian native with 20 years of banking experience.

Maggard graduated from Purdue University, which he attended on a baseball scholarship. He also attended banking school at the University of Oklahoma. Before joining Fifth Third, Maggard worked for Waterfield Mortgage for slightly more than a year.

He's married to Karen Maggard and the father of three: two daughters and a son. Attending their sporting events is one of Maggard's priorities. He and his wife enjoy travel and golf.

Maggard volunteers as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and will be corporate chairman for the 2008 Northeast Indiana Heart Walk. He has served on the local boards of Habitat for Humanity and the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeast Indiana.

Maybe he can do something about that name:  Fifth Third... which is it!

Congratulations, Kent!

January 17, 2008

RIP: Richard Knerr

Richard Knerr has passed away, he was the inventor of the Hula-Hoop, the Frisbee, the Superball and the Slip 'n Slide... perhaps, one could say, he invented summer.

Richard Knerr, co-founder of Wham-O Inc., which unleashed the granddaddy of American fads, the Hula Hoop, on the world half a century ago along with another enduring leisure icon, the Frisbee, has died. He was 82.

With his boyhood best friend, Arthur "Spud" Melin, Knerr started the company in 1948 in Pasadena. They named the enterprise Wham-O for the sound that their first product, a slingshot, made when it hit its target.

A treasure chest of dozens of toys followed that often bore playful names: Superball, so bouncy it seemed to defy gravity; Slip 'N Slide and its giggle-inducing cousin the Water Wiggle; and Silly String.

Godspeed, good buddy.

Norwell Wrestlers Defeat Southern Wells

Norwell matmen top Raiders to seal county title

In a span of 48 hours, the Norwell Knights wrestling team became the mythical 2007-08 season Wells County dual meet champions.

After downing the Bluffton Tigers Tuesday night, the Knights defeated the Southern Wells Raiders 43-30 Wednesday night at the Castle for the county title.

The match included three forfeit's in Norwell's favor in the heavyweight divisions.  That's no fun, practicing all season and winning from the sidelines... I'm sure, given their past performances, Hunter Harper and Paul Frank would have won if Southern Wells had fielded opponents for them.

January 16, 2008


Championship Rings

From the Bluffton News-Banner Sports Roundup:
Norwell cheerleaders to receive rings

The Norwell High School varsity competition cheer squad will receive their state championship rings Saturday at half time of the boys varsity basketball game against New Haven. The Norwell cheer squad won the IASP Large Co-Ed Division State Championship this year held at New Castle.


Tough Meet

The Norwell Swim Teams couldn't outswim the #4 Homestead Girls and the #5 Homestead Boys

The Homestead Spartans defeated the visiting Norwell Knights Tuesday in girls and boys swimming and diving.

The No. 4-ranked Homestead girls topped the No. 20 Knights 124-61 and the No. 5 Spartan boys won 133-53.

The Norwell girls were led by senior Paige Brink with two first-place finishes. She won the 200 yard freestyle in 1:59.34 and the 100 freestyle in 54.51 seconds.

Freshman Brooke Cossairt won the 500 freestyle in 5:35.65 and sophomore Kelly Brewer won the 50 freestyle in 26.35 seconds. Senior Alison Painter was third in the 50 in 27.63.

Top 20 Indiana Girls Swim Teams: Norwell is tied for 20th.

Success at Last

Norwell 69, Canterbury 60

The Norwell Knights put an end to their seven-game losing skid Tuesday night with a hard-fought 69-60 win over visiting Canterbury at the Castle.

It wasn’t the most daunting team on Norwell’s schedule. Canterbury is a Class A school and had lost six of its last seven games coming into the contest.

And even at that, Norwell had to fight its way out of an 11-point first-quarter hole.

But a win is a win is a win.

The JV and freshman teams also won.

January 15, 2008

Bluffton Movie Theater

There's talk of having a movie theater in Bluffton

While we are thrilled to see Wells County moving forward with all due diligence, there is still something missing for the kids and everyday people that has lacked since the 77-year-old The Grand Theatre tumbled to the ground on a sunny day in March 1981: a movie theater.

All the economic development initiatives here are fabulous, but we still need a place in our community where a family or group of friends can go to relax and unwind. That place, we hope, will be Chris Jones’ theater, as it could fill a hole that has existed in Bluffton for more than two decades.

Although I certainly remember going to the Grand (and to the Drive-In), I wonder if large-screen TV's and Hi-Def DVD players will steal much of the thunder of having a new theater in the Bluffton area. Watching a movie at home doesn't get a person out of the house, but it's a lot cheaper.

Bad Day at the Office

Click on the Picture to animate it... poor fellow's having a bad day at the office. I guess his computer is just not cooperating.

Unclaimed Baggage

Did you ever wonder what happened to lost and unclaimed baggage from the airport?  It goes to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama.

I actually shopped at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro last year... some items are very cheap and no wonder people didn't bother to go back for them; but other items are quite nice.  There are lots of jewelery, luggage, portfolios, clothes of all sorts, laptop attachments, cameras, coats, books, music, watches, knick-knacks of all sorts, blankets, pillows and even large items like refrigerators, ovens, generators, etc. 

I bought some nice old bags I use now for moving computer equipment around.  We also bought some nice artsy stuff and books and purses and a couple of baggies full of interesting key chains.

And don't forget, you can buy Hot Property Online, too.

January 14, 2008

A Timeless Ad

Can you make out the text on that ad? It says, "Laboratory tests over the last few years have proven that babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and "fitting in" during those awkward pre-teen and teen years. So do yourself a favor. Do your child a favor. Start them on a strict regimen of sodas and other sugary carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness."

Yep... got my Diet Dew right here.

Wrestling at Garrett

Four Norwell wrestlers went 5-0 at the Garrett Six-team Duals to help lead the Knights to a 3-2 team mark.

Logan Dillon, Paul Frank, Hunter Harper and Matt Becker recorded 5-0 records for the day to help lead the Norwell Knights to a 3-2 team mark at the Garrett Six-team Duals wrestling meet Saturday at Garrett.

Dillon and Frank won all of their matches by pin falls and Dillon received the award for the most pins in the least amount of time.

Dillon wrestled at 171 pounds and Frank competed at heavyweight.

Harper won four of his 215-pound matches by pin falls. Becker had three falls at 152 pounds.

Norwell rolled over Harding 71-9, topped Garrett 44-32 and defeated Fort Wayne Northrop 45-26.

Homestead Swims in Front

Homestead swept the NHC swimming honors for both boys and girls, but the Norwell teams both finished a respectable third.

Paige Brink, Logan Brink and Luke Towne each were first team all-conference picks Saturday at the 2008 Northeast Hoosier Conference girls and boys swimming and diving championships at Fort Wayne.

The trio was selected after helping the Norwell Knights take third place in the girls and boys team scoring.

Homestead swept first-place NHC honors in the girls and boys meets, while Carroll swept second place in girls and boys action.

The Homestead Spartan girls racked up 559 points, followed by Carroll with 383 and Norwell with 283.5. DeKalb was fourth with 238, East Noble fifth with 225, Columbia City sixth with 194.5 and Bellmont seventh with 144.

Homestead topped the Carroll boys 557-462. Norwell tallied 276 points, East Noble 267, Columbia City 192, DeKalb 144 and Bellmont 132.

Senior Paige Brink was the only first-place finisher in the finals, swimming the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.13 to defeat Homestead’s McKenzie Bagan, who was second in 1:58.06.

Polar Vortex

Did you know Greg Shoup, the local weatherman, has his own blog? It's called "Into each life some rain must fall." Anyway, as you can read here, he is predicting a very cold snap this weekend.

Colts Ruin

The Colts fooled around and lost to the Chargers

That's how seasons end, and the Colts' ended 28-24 with their capacity crowd of 56,950 sitting in stunned disbelief, again. Three times over the past nine seasons, the Colts have played well enough to earn a bye and host an AFC divisional playoff game. All three times, they have lost. In 1999. In 2005. Again Sunday.

The Colts are the only team in the NFL that has made the playoffs eight of the past nine seasons. They have gone one-and-out five of those seasons.

What was the purpose of having Harrison suit up  if they weren't going to use him when it counted? 

Girls defeat Bellmont

Some much needed good news for the Norwell Basketball program:  The girls team beat Bellmont 56-37

Norwell (12-4) held onto a share of the Northeast Hoosier Conference season standings. The Knights are deadlocked with Homestead with 4-1 league standards.

The Norwell junior varsity and freshman girls completed a sweep of the Squaws.

Alyssa Smith scored 10 points to lead Norwell to a 36-31 win in the JV game. Brittany Schumm and Caitlyn Ailor each added eight, Caitlyn McGrew five, Kyra Raines four and Kline one.

Eden Chaney finished with 12 and Amanda McAfee 10 to power the freshmen (13-2) to a 29-28 victory. Amber Haiflich added five and Casssie Herndon two.




Congratulations to the Bluffton Boys Basketball Team for their ACAC Championship.

January 13, 2008


Three minutes left in the game, Colts down 4 points and driving. Question: Why can't the Colts just blow them out and win easy.... it would be so much less stressful to watch.

January 12, 2008

Norwell 50, Bellmont 53

The Norwell Boys (3-7) scored 20 more than last game, which is good, but Bellmont did them three better for the Knights seventh loss in a row.

Decatur — Norwell and Bellmont’s boys basketball teams have seen some great battles over the years. But the one that occurred Friday night in Decatur is one that surely will never be forgotten.

Bellmont senior Justin Hall sparked a Braves rally by connecting on four of five three-point attempts in the last quarter. But none was bigger then his last.

After Norwell’s Ryne Otis was called for traveling with 1.5 seconds left, Hall got the inbounds pass, dribbled once to his left, looked at the clock, and threw up a prayer from just beyond the opposite three-point line.

He hit nothing but net, giving the Braves a remarkable 53-50 comeback win while sending the standing-room only crowd into a chaotic frenzy.

Norwell lost the JV and freshman games as well, though not so dramatically.

January 11, 2008

Girls lose out to Whitko

The Norwell Girls Basketball team suffered a 3 point loss to Whitko, 38-41. 3A Whitko now equals Norwell's 11-4 record.

Norwell (11-4) was leading 29-15 at halftime, but the Wildcats flip-flopped the score in the second half. They outscored the Knights 26-9, holding Norwell to just two points in the last period.


Good news though, the JV and freshmen won:

The Norwell junior varsity team beat Whitko 34-10. Alyssa Smith led the Knights with 10 points. Brittany Schumm, Caitlyn Ailor and Erin Hayes each added six. Breanna Wilson and Caitlyn McGrew chipped in with three apiece.

The Norwell freshman team played South Adams last night and won 46-5. Amanda McAfee tallied 14 points, Eden Chaney 13, Amber Haiflich 11, Rachel Lind four and Kelsey Kintz four.

January 9, 2008

Norwell Swimmers Beat Dekalb

The Norwell Boys and 16th ranked Girls, both won against DeKalb

Interesting Photographs

An interesting collection of photos

A Real Weekend at Bernie's

2 Bring Corpse to Store to Cash Check

''The witnesses saw the two pushing the chair with Cintron flopping from side to side and the two individuals propping him up and keeping him from flopping from side to side,'' Browne said.

The men left Cintron's body outside the store, went inside and tried to cash his $355 check, Browne said. The store's clerk, who knew Cintron, asked the men where he was, and O'Hare told the clerk they would go and get him, Browne said.

A police detective who was having lunch at a restaurant next to the check-cashing store noticed a crowd forming around Cintron's body, and ''it's immediately apparent to him that Cintron is dead,'' Browne said.

10 Real-Life Superheroes

OK, so I'm not sure whether eye-popping counts as a super power, but Sonar Boy is pretty cool...

10 People with Incredible Abilities

Sports Roundup 1-8-2008

The Banner Rounds it up, including this:
Stan Kunkel recently rolled an 836 series at The Bowling Center in Bluffton. Kunkel had games of 289, 280 and 267 to continue his hold on the Bluffton Men's Association high series title. It was Kunkel's third 800-plus series — the others being 801 and 803.
Dang, Stan.

January 8, 2008

Bud Gray

Bud Gray, seated, father of Sevens member Kurt Gray and long-time Norwell athletics fan, has passed away. Thanks to Sevens member Deb Blinn for the picture from Senior Night, and condolences to Kurt and his family and to the entire Norwell athletic community.

See the comment section for additional details.

January 7, 2008

Norwell 29

Norwell Boys 29, Carroll 39. Did they only play one half? Norwell is now number 1: 29 is the lowest number of points in a game for the entire conference this year.

Carroll only attempted 27 shots in the entire game and still topped Norwell by 10 points. The Knights' JV only scored 20 points and the Freshman only 24.

A good change to stop the six game slide would be to have a goal of 100 shots next game, 25 each quarter -- who cares how many go in, it couldn't be any worse.

January 5, 2008

Girls lose in OT to Carroll

The 3A number 8 Norwell Girls Basketball Team lost in Overtime, 49-51 to the 4A Carroll Chargers in a tight, conference match.

The Knights (11-3, 3-1) got off to a quick start with a 13-0 run to open the game, eventually building it to 16-5 before the end of the first period. However, the Knights committed six turnovers in the key second quarter which resulted in some easy buckets for Carroll and frustration for the Knights.

In the junior varsity contest, Norwell freshman Caitlyn McGrew hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to give Norwell the victory 32-30. Norwell was led in scoring by Caitlyn Ailor with eight, while McGrew and Brittany Schumm each added seven apiece. Other scorers were Kelsey Kline and Breanna Wilson with four each and Alyssa Smith with two.

Norwell dropped the freshman contest 25-15 to Carroll. Amanda McAfee had nine for Norwell, while Eden Chaney scored four and Amber Haiflich two.

January 4, 2008

Girls Outswim East Noble

The Norwell Girls swim team defeated East Noble 95-88, but the boys fell 73-112.

Logan Brink, Stephanie Bussey, Paige Brink and Kelly Brewer led Norwell’s girls to victory in the 200 yard medley relay in 1:58.79.

Paige Brink won the 200 freestyle in 2:00.23.

Logan Brink won the 200 yard individual medley in 2:20.86, the 100 yard butterfly in 1:01.34 and the 100 yard backstroke in 1:03.85.

Lindsey Stronczek won the 500 yard freestyle in 6:35.45.

Lindsay Stronczek is, of course, the daughter of Sevens member Jan.

Interestingly, Norwell's Korrey Short won the springboard diving... I didn't think Norwell had any divers! Congratulations.



I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-- by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Click on the picture of Lenin to see why he reminds me of this poem by Shelley.

January 3, 2008

Girls Defeat Leo

The Norwell Girls Basketball Team outscored Leo 65-50, raising their record to 11-2 on the season.
Before the Leo Lions were able to answer, the home-standing Norwell Knights roared out to a 14-0 lead on their way to a comfortable 65-50 victory in girls high school basketball Wednesday night at the Castle.

The Class 3A No. 8 Knights (11-2) were coming off an impressive showing at the Brebeuf Shootout in which they had knocked off then unbeaten No. 1 Wawasee and had lost to No. 7 Plymouth.

Norwell was led by junior Haley Chaney with 15 points, while senior guard Allee Donaghy added 13 and junior center Andrea Vogel tossed in 12 and grabbed 10 rebounds. Chaney was 3 of 4 from three-point range and Donaghy 3 of 6.

Once again, the Knights displayed their unselfishness and team depth.

fyi, the girls are averaging 57.5 points a game and are #1 in the NHC , the boys are averaging 45.8 points a game and are last in the NHC. The boys are holding their opponents to 47.3 points a game, the girls are holding their opponents to 44.3 points a game. As you can see, the main difference is in offensive output, not defensive effort.


It's Cold

Click on the map for a bigger version... the best thing about -6 wind chills in Fort Wayne is knowing it only feels like it's 20 degrees in Palm Harbor, Florida. Welcome to Winter, everybody.

Network News

"You Don't Understand Our Audience" is a long, but interesting article by John Hockenberry, who used to work at NBC News.  The article discusses the mind-set in the network news divisions and how they have missed out on the technical revolution in the field.  I found it a good read, but possible not for everyone.

Happy New Year, all.