Afghanistan: Threats and Follow Through, Chief Justice Seizure and Becoming our Parents

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Good Morning,

The newsroom was full of conversation this morning but it wasn’t about the news. We were having a discussion of ways to deal with issues of childcare in the overnight hours we work. This shift presents a lot of challenges to your personal life. This is just one more that some of our team is dealing with behind the scenes. And no, please do not read more into this that there actually is. I am not among the people in the newsroom in the market for childcare these days.
It is tough to come up with plans when you work these strange hours! I was giving our expecting-mom-producer, Heather, some tips on recruiting a good nanny/sitter who can cover overnights!
I speak from experience – Ian is out of town today so one of our sitters spent the night in the guest room, and is probably up feeding the kids cereal right now. I realize I’m very lucky to have someone I trust who’s able to do this from time to time – a lifesaver when you don’t have Grandma and Grandpa in town!
Check out today’s Gen X moms blog for more on nanny-searching tips, and WHY kids seem to work so much harder to impress their teachers than their parents!

To the news:

The news out of Afghanistan is that there is another deadline set for tomorrow around noon. Taliban kidnappers say they will Iolanthe hostage tomorrow if the Afghan government doesn’t release Taliban prisoners. The body of a second murdered hostage was found along a roadside today.

The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court had a seizure. He fell over while on vacation in Maine. Scary, I’m sure but the doctors say Chief Justice Roberts is going to be OK. The vocabulary moment of the day came when Trish pointed out the medical terms used in this story. I’ll let her explain.
IDEOPATHIC: (id-ee-uh-path’-ic) of unknown cause, as a disease.
I questioned whether we should use this word in our coverage of Roberts’ episode. I knew what it meant, but only because I heard it a lot when I was being treated for ideopathic” scoliosis as a teenager. It just means doctors can’t explain the cause.
I figured most people in the general public wouldn’t be familiar with the term, and thought at first we should remove it from the script. But Pat said – let this be a vocabulary lesson! So we compromised – we used the word, but offered the quick definition too. I liked that solution.
Is this kind of specificity helpful to you as a news viewer – or would you rather just have the plain English version without the technical medical term? TS

There’s a group of Iowa soldiers coming home. The 10-34th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion is coming back to Johnston.

A New report out by the agency looking onto reconstruction costs in Iraq says there’s widespread corruption in almost every agency of the Iraqi government. No kidding.

In one of the weirdest stories of the morning, an anti-war group is protesting at Sen Tom Harkin’s office today. Anyone else think they’ve got their senators mixed up? Just a tip: If you want to be taken seriously you might want to protest something at the office of a politician who’s been vocal about his support of he war.
Here’s an example of how out of control the senator is about his “support” of the war:

The U.S. Senate is debating a new course in Iraq and Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, is backing a plan that would start redeploying American troops out of Iraq within 120 days.
“As progressives, we’re going to do everything we can to really have straightforward, strong votes on getting out of Iraq,” Harkin says.
Radio Iowa
Yes Yes, better make sure this pro-war policy is outed.
The group’s point is that he voted for the war back in 2002 and for funding along the way…
I don’t mind a full throated debate over war policy. It just seems this one is preaching to the Choir.
Slow Down
A guy in Ohio found a way to slow traffic down outside his house. He took pictures of his kids…blew them up to life size and put them out on the lawn. It worked. He’s selling them for $60. I may buy a few. I can’t stand the cars that race through my neighborhood. We’re a cut through between two busy streets and as I’m mowing the lawn sometimes, I’ll yell at the cars passing by to slow down. As I did it the first time I realized this was really the first time I had one of those, “you’re becoming your father” moments. I could do a lot worse by the way…but it’s just a little freaky. He used to yell at passing cars when we were outside paying catch in front of our house. “Sloooow Dooooown!” he’d bellow. I’ve got the same set of pipes so I think the drivers passing by get the point.
That’s it for me,
Coffee Snobs
You know this about us. We ran out of the good stuff this morning and had to go to the newsroom provided Folgers. I can honestly say this would cut down on my coffee consumption…a lot.
I didn’t think I was such a big coffee snob until today. The brew was totally undrinkable. I’m struggling to stay awake, and realizing what a grip my caffeine-addiction has on me. I’d pay someone good money to go on a coffee run! TS
Jon Cahill had a story where the video really does speak for itself. He went out to the Mall and to ISU’s campus to look at how people interact goven the explosion of technology. It was interesting. People walking with each other, and not talking…texting. people on the phone while they eat, on the phone in resturaunts…you get the idea. This is a pet peave of mine. If you’re going to talk on your cell phone…step away from the table. If you are talking to someone….say excuse me, check the number and if it’s an important call, apologize and say you’ll be right back…it’s not that hard. My Father-in-law is militant about this. He just can’t stand…and I have to agree…people who talk on a cell phone while at a resturaunt.
The point of the story is that we’re not talking to each other face-to-face anymore…we’re txting and talking over the phone…
It creeps me out to see how much time this technology eats up! I try not to obsessively check email and voicemail, but it is harder than ever to stay “unplugged” with all the technologies so easy to use! Sometimes you just need to let it all go…people must realize that we all can’t be accessible 24/7!
Have a good day!


  • Vicky

    Great job again today! Like the vocab lesson…never hurts to learn something new! I’m still pretty young, but I’ve become more & more like my parents, since having a child of my own…must be inhereted??? :o) Or would it be a learned behavior?Have a great day! Don’t forget to get the “better” coffee for tomorrow.

  • Steve

    In regards to staying “unplugged”, I have found it near impossible to do. Last week, however, I took my first full week off in 3 years, and did not take the Blackberry. By Wednesday, I no longer had the shakes, or any other symptoms of withdrawl. After having done it, I learned a valuable lesson on leaving work at work when possible. Very refreshing!!Great blog.

  • Anonymous

    IDEOPATHIC: that level of specificity is helpful to me as a viewer – I assume most viewers don’t need or want the news “dumbed down”, why not make it educational and entertaining at the same time.Coffee Snob: Just about the only thing I look forward to about winter is the ability to enjoy hot coffee at all hours of the day…it’s just too hot in the summer to get a huge coffee from Starbucks!Techno-addiction: I read an article in Golf Digest about the new GPS devices available to help golfers with distance to the pin, bunkers, etc. One viewpoint was all this technology was ruining our simple lifestyle, but another view is that some of this technology (blackberrys and being able to be accessible 24/7) is what allows us to get a round of golf in or attend tee ball games more often.

  • Trisha Shepherd

    On the tech-addiction – I agree that if you use these tools correctly, they can save time! But I think it’s very tempting to get buried in them, and “over-communicate.” Short and sweet is my motto!Trisha

  • Anonymous

    Can you whisper it here what the good stuff is, I won’t tell anybody. LOL where can I get some of that good stuff. I always thought Folgers was the Best, I don’t care for starbucks. In my opinion the best when we’re out is Mc Donald’s.-Brenda

  • Anonymous

    It’s crazy to see my own parents not be able to go a day with out using their cell phones!If I were graduating high school these days I would seriously consider going into medical school. The area’s I would specialize in would be hands and fingers. I swear to God that in 10,15,20 years from now there could potentialy be a LOT of people (Kids and adults) growing up with thumb issues from playing video games and/or cell phone texting! Or possible specialize in hearing for all the damage from talking on cell phones or listening to the really loud car stereo’s will cause on peoples hearing! Or I would specialize in the foot and/or ankle area for the injuries kids are getting from roller blading and skate boarding. I would think in the long run these things are going to come to haunt us! Maybe that would be a good story to do some time.

  • Angi

    I completely agree with your thoughts on over-obsession of cell phones. I hate people using them in resturaunts. The worst though, is people using them in restrooms. YUCK! I am one of those people who will excuse myself if taking the call is necessary, and the only times I find it necessary have to deal with my kids.Trish, I also have ideopathic scoliosis so I understood the terminology, but agree that many others wouldn’t understand it right away. Some times they use the term too easily with scoloisis though because we can track scoliosis back several generations in my family and they still labeled mine as ideopathic. Oh well.Keep up the great job!

  • Anonymous

    I must say that I too, am over the top when it comes to this CONSTANT NEED for people to be on their cell phone talking (about absolutely nothing mostly) or texting. I have a need for my cell phone, I am a telecommunications operations manager, our clients need 24/7 coverage either to me or one of my on-call technicians, and I STILL do not spend more than an hour out of 24 on that phone. Secondly, I ride a motorcycle to the tune of approximately 10,000 miles each year. In the past 2 years I have almost been hit by an idiot talking about how big his or her ass looks in their new pants on thier cell phone, rather than paying attention to their driving. I think most of us heard the news story about a young lady and her friends who died in an auto accident in the past two weeks because the driver was texting while driving. Come on people, NO CONVERSATION is worth someones life, what the hell did we do 10 or 15 years ago when cell phones were FAR less in use than today???

  • Anonymous

    Best coffee in the metro… Zanzibar Coffee Adventure on Ingersoll and 27th. They roast their own coffee there, and in my opinion, have the most ecclectic people who hang out there.Just my 2 cents.P.S. ditch the foldgers!

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Coffee scoop – we vary our “good stuff”, sometimes Starbucks or Millstone, sometimes something one of us picks up from a trip out of town. My family loves Grounds for Celebration – Ian and the kids are there most mornings while I’m at work – the kids have their “routine”of chocolate milk in a coffee cup so they can feel grown-up (and they always seem to talk someone into giving them gelato!) Angi – Scoliosis seems to run in my family too – I’m going to watch my kids like a hawk as they grow, and hope and pray their spines stay nice and straight.

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