Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Going Bowling with the Wildcats

Happy New Year!

I hope it's the greatest for you and your family. The holidays were so much fun!

Always associated with the holidays for our family are the college football bowl games. Being married to a sportswriter for many years, we have enjoyed family outings since the boys were young attending Kansas State football games. We heard our share of complaining on Saturdays during football season because we had to be in Manhattan and they were going to miss the best birthday party a kid would ever be lucky enough to be asked to!

It was a funny thing when I got the call this week our three excited sons and a cousin had purchased the best tickets in Cowboy stadium (second row behind the K-State bench) for the Wildcats trip on January 6 to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Tx., you never would have known the boys that grew up with the game following their team because of dads work could still enjoy a passion shared by the family. It's also fun to see them share that passion together!

The years have gone by, two of them picked Kstate as there alma mater. (That's ok Seth WSU has served you well.) But when K-State is playing they are all on the same side with purple being the most sought after present they would unwrap this Christmas!

I will be watching the game from home this year, their dad will be working. I will enjoy all the stories with texts and calls from the stadium. I will be listening on Thursday at 4 pm when the pep rally starts in Texas Rangers Stadium.

We did talk about the past bowl games when we were together over the holidays. Most of them were attended by at least one person in the family. Here is a recap, I thought you might like to read and remember also.

Kansas State Bowl Games - A few memories

Dec. 11, 1982 -- Independence Bowl, Shreveport, La. Wisconsin 14-3 K-State. Quarterback was Darrell Dickey, son of head coach Jim Dickey. Worst weather ever. Rain, cold, wind, chill temperature below zero.

Dec. 29, 1993 -- Weiser Lock Copper Bowl, Tucson, Arizona; Coach Bill Snyder, KSU 52-17 Wyoming; first bowl game since 1982. The enthusiasm at Arizona Stadiuim was unmatched because everyone knew this was the start of something special. No one could believe how many K-State fans showed up. It was called a sea of purple by Copper Bowl officials. Many people drove to Arizona. It was the first of 11 consecutive bowl appearances. Freshman Kevin Lockett played for four consecutive bowl teams at K-State. Chad May was quarterback.

Dec. 25, 1994 -- Jeep Eagle Aloha Bowl ; Boston College 12-7 Kansas State). Chad May was quarterback. K-State's defense played well that day. Lowest score in a bowl game by coach Snyder.

Dec. 29, 1995 -- Plymouth Holiday Bowl, San Diego; KSU 54-21 Colorado State. Backup quarterback and Offensive MVP Brian Kavanagh threw for a Holiday Bowl record four touchdown passes after starter Matt Miller was hurt. Defensive MVP Mario Smith intercepted two passes.

(1996 season) Jan. 1, 1997 -- Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl, Dallas; BYU 19-14 KSU; huge crowd at Dallas featured an estimated 45,000 K-State fans on the Wildcats first-ever New Year's Day bowl. Senior Kevin Lockett scored a touchdown in his record-setting fourth bowl game. Quarterback was Brian Kavanagh. The best part was the pep rally held in the ampi-theatre on the Texas state fairgrounds, what a great time that was! Went to the Cotton Bowl dance on Dec. 30 at a local hotel and New Years Eve in Texas!

Dec. 31, 1997 -- Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Tempe, Arizona; KSU 35-18 Syracuse; QB Michael Bishop outduels Donovan McNabb now of the Philadelphia Eagles. Offensive Bowl MVP Bishop threw four touchdown passes and Darnell McDonald scored a record three touchdown passes. No. 50 Travis Ochs ***(this was my favorite player I wore #50 jersey and still have it!) was Defensive MVP.

Dec. 29, 1998 -- Builder's Square Alamo Bowl, San Antonio; Purdue 37-34 KSU; biggest heartbreaking bowl of all-time. K-State was ranked third entering game and would've finished No. 3. Purdue QB Drew Brees (now New Orleans Saints) outduels Michael Bishop. Brees threw the winning touchdown pass with 30 seconds left. Bishop threw for three touchdowns, but was intercepted four times.
K-State was one play away from the national championship game against Tennesee, but lost to Texas A&M in the Big 12 title game in St. Louis. Lots of tears from our 7 year old in the RCA dome that night. It was the night I said I was never taking them to another game because it just hurts to much to see the tears! ( He's now a 21 year old Kstate Senior) and loves his Kstate football!

Dec. 29, 1999 -- Culligan Holiday Bowl, San Diego; KSU 24-20 Washington. Offensive MVP Jonathan Beasley (now a K-State coach) scored three rushing touchdowns.

(2000 season) Jan. 1 2001 -- Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl; KSU 35-21 Tennessee. K-State's best-ever bowl victory over a SEC team. Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer won the 1998 national title. He called K-State one of the best teams Tennessee had played all year. Overnight ice and snow made for hazardous New Year's Eve driving and snow on the field at gametime, perfect for K-State.
Offensive MVP Jonathan Beasley passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown. Defensive MVP Chris Johnson had two sacks.

Dec. 28, 2001 -- Bowl, Phoenix, Ariz. Syracuse 26-3 Kansas State. Marc Dunn was K-State quarterback.

Dec. 27, 2002 -- Pacific Life Holiday Bowl; Kansas State 34-27 Arizona State. Ell Roberson was K-State quarterback and Offensive MVP. Roberson had three rushing touchdowns. Darren Sproles scored a touchdown.

(2003 season) Jan. 2, 2004 -- Tostitos Fiesta Bowl; Ohio State 35, Kansas State 28; This was Snyder's 11th consecutive bowl game. Quarterback Ell Roberson threw for 294 yards. It was K-State's first BCS bowl appearance. During the pep rally fans found out QB Roberson had gotten in a little trouble.

Dec. 28, 2006 -- Texas Bowl, Houston; Rutgers 37-10 Kansas State; Ron Prince was head coach. Quarterback was Josh Freeman, now with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Dec. 30, 2010 -- Pinstripe Bowl, New York Yankee Stadium. Syracuse 36-34 Kansas State. Adrian Hilburn scored a touchdown with 1:14 left, but was flagged 15 yards for a celebration penalty for saluting his father, who served in the military. The penalty forced the 2-point play to the 17-yard line. Quarterback was Carson Coffman.

It great thinking about the past and looking forward to Friday night when they tangle with the Arkansas Razorbacks. Hope you get to enjoy the game.

In the mean time my job is working on catchy poster phrases that will get the guys exposure on national TV from the second row during the game!!

Go Cats!

Friday, March 25, 2011

His Past is Our Future

I had an interesting visitor stop by my desk on a Friday morning this past winter. I get to see a lot of interesting people in a day but when he came through the door his first words were "Well, just stopping in to see how you are treating the place." With his baseball cap tipped to the side and the words of agriculture advertising on the front he walked right up to my desk. "You don't know who I am do you?"

Being tagged in my Kolbe report as a "researcher" I quickly scanned for any clue of who this new friend might be when I saw it! Just behind his olive green work jacket was the littlest part of his name badge appearing out of the edge. All I could see was JACK. Knowing the only Jack who might walk in someday wanting to know how we were "treating the place", I quickly said "I think I do know, you are Jack Hobbs." A smile lit up his face like he was a Hall of Fame inductee. (And mine face too because my guess was right on target!) At ESSDACK Jack really is that important. In fact with out him we would not be here as a Education Service Center.

Jack is one of the six founding fathers and area administrators who sat down one afternoon in McPherson the early 1980's and came up with a plan for an Educational Service Center that could help our school districts. He recalled each one of those in attendance by name. If you have attended a workshop here and sat in the "Jack Hobbs Room" now you know how it's name came to be. How determined some were to see this project take hold and benefit the future of education in Kansas. I doubt at the time they could even imagine the school districts their service center would end up helping in the future. The cost effectiveness was attractive to the group. If one district could do well imagine the possibilities when several school districts collaborated to share ideas under a central leadership. Several organizational meetings followed and the Educational Services and Staff Development of Central Kansas (ESSDACK) became a reality.

The ESSDACK rooms are named after their founding fathers next time you are here check out the names above the door.
You will see William White, Harold Voth, Jack Hobbs, Cecil Deel, Robert Burkholder, and James Webb.

From it's early beginnings in a single office space, then moved to an area district office to reside, then to a first presentation center to ESSDACK's home today their vision is still alive.

After introducing him to our ESSDACK Director, Mike Cook, Jack was back on the road visiting area farmers in his traveling agriculture job. He makes his home in Hesston, Kansas. If any of you see him out visiting your farm or on the streets of your town. Tell him thanks for being an administrator who made a difference in Kansas Education.

I know ESSDACK thanks him!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Madness (High School Style)

It is March 9, 2011. In Kansas it's State Basketball Tournament time!

So many exciting stories of how the teams got to the state tournament, so many exciting plays to go over.

In Reno County we have five teams represented this year in State Tournament play. Trinity High Boys, Haven High Girls, Buhler High Boys, Pretty Prairie Boys, and Central Christian Girls!

Starting tomorrow the players, coaches, cheerleaders, student body, parents, relatives, and other assorted fans will be on the road to their respective state tournament locations. For many of these young athletes an excitement like no other is being lived out this week.
Radio ads of congratulations run on their local stations. Newspaper front pages and Sports pages are full of articles about their team, their season and their successful State tournament berth.

Sometimes I feel passionate as a fan just reading about the young kids having a week they will never for get. I have had the feeling being the parent of a son in the state playoffs four times. One basketball player, one baseball player and son # 3 in both baseball and football. There is nothing like this week in high school sports if you are a sports fan.

I have a co-worker, a former coach, who recaps each and every game. He tells about the plays with the intensity of being in the game his self. His son, a senior this year. Will be making a trip to the State Tournament in the Hutchinson Sports Arena tomorrow night.

As his dad is nervous in the stands this young player will be having the time of his life on the court. Win or lose he will have something to talk about for a lifetime. He will remember this week and come to realize the community support that rallies around a high school basketball team.

Good Luck to all of the state bound teams this week, your entertainment all year has pleased coaches, parents and fans alike. Now it's time to smile for the camera and enjoy the ride, you've worked hard for it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday Morning Technology

After church yesterday I had the best call from my daughter-in-law and grandkids in Longview, Texas. She had taken the kids by the park and stopped to play while their dad was on a Sunday morning fishing trip.

She quickly said "Just wondered if you want to Skype? We are at the park!" I love technology! Her iPhone in hand she connected to us here in Kansas and for the next 45 minutes Grandpa and Grammie (me) had a Sunday morning trip to the park with our grandkids.

We watched 4 year old Alex do his part for the environment and community by picking up old water bottles and assorted trash and put them in a dumpster. Something I am sure he learned in pre-school and is followed up at home by his mom and dad. He worked walking the park side to side looking for anything that might resemble trash in his four year old mind. He stayed with the task with the determination of a park employee only stopping once to say hello as a family passed by walking their dog.

Katelyn on the other hand kept her mom busy! Always on the run the 18 month old ran from climbing wall to slides, to swings with mom following fast with her camera on capturing the action on Skype. We were able to go down the slide, swing with her and climb those rock walls with the help of an iPhone! All to soon it was time for them to go, but what a great time we all had while we were together.

To grandparents who live so far away Skype is like a live scrapbook. A place to see new haircuts, clothes from their latest trip to Target, new shoes from Academy Sports, read them their favorite book or just be able to be a part of the day with your grandchild.

We have been Skype fans for years, long before Oprah made it famous, If you are not utilizing this amazing technology you must take the time to give it a try. A little Skype can take you a long way!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Day beginning another year!

I am excited about the fact that I am ready to start a new year! Today (1-1-11) at 1:11pm, I thought about doing something exciting to remember the moment. We all had that moment in time today, did it pass without doing something special to start your year? Or did you realize the number pattern was even happening today?

I start this year after great visits with family and friends through the holidays! What a great time we all had celebrating being together and doing what families do, trading stories, taking pictures and exchanging gifts. Our three boys and daughter-in-law and grandkids made the celebration even more special. What blessings they all are.

I start this year with a great job working with people I admire and respect. With good health, great expectations of the new year and pride in the activities of my community. I also start the year with jury duty, a niece who will travel to Mayo Clinic this week for an infection that has encompassed her body, and the terminal illness of a close friend of over 40 years. I greet the new year with reservation, sadness, and yet hope and a vision of optimism.

I had time to spend with my friend this week who told me her cancer had moved to her liver and we needed to talk. We have talked a lot over the years. Great conversations that will be held in my heart and memory forever. The celebrations of raising kids, having more kids, high school activities, community organizations, social clubs, church work, graduations, holiday celebrations, weddings, and funerals. All a part of being a friend.

I am hopeful as you start the new year you are looking forward to making the year great! Enjoy your family, embrace your friends, support your community, make the most of those moments in time that pass so quickly. I hope you fly low, sail high, and slow dance more!

Happy New Year 2011!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

QR Codes have arrived!

They are everywhere! Recently while opening the Sunday paper I noticed Best Buy had them placed throughout their ad, QR Codes, you have seen them right? (I have put one just to the right of this post.) I thought I needed to find out more about those "little boxes".

The little square that with a simple scan of your smart phone can tell you more than everything you want to know about the product you are about to buy. You will easily be able to tell the sales clerk more than they know and wow them with your knowledge.

What is a QR Code? It's a matrix barcode. A QR or quick response code when scanned by a smart phone takes you to more information about the item on the page the code is found. It might take you to a website, an informational video, or text information about the product.

Many businesses are using them, and those that do certainly appreciate the tech knowledge of their customers. Using them will allow their organization a more receptive presence on the web, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Businesses use QR Codes in a number of ways. By simply putting one on your business card you give a customer access to your contact details and it's easy for you to be added to their contacts on their cell phone.

Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, and of course your website and they show product information, contact information, events, offers, details, and even coupons.

No matter how large or small any business could use QR Codes in a number of ways.

I was noticing the Target and Walmart holiday sale ads (nearly the size of a magazine) in this past Sunday paper. Loaded with QR Codes, I packed them for a Thanksgiving trip to my grandson's house. I can hardly wait to have him scan in the code with his mom's cell phone so we can read all about the toys he is wanting for Christmas. It will be loads of fun and even Grammie might learn something.

I know already the gift I want and can't wait to scan the QR Code of. The New Barbie with a video camera in her stomach. Yes, you upload her to YouTube, but I need to check the specs of the video camera Barbie is carrying around, and that QR Code can tell me everything I need to know.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Milken Family Foundation Awards Maize Educator

It doesn't surprise me that Kansas had a winner from the Milken Family Foundation 'Oscar of Teaching' awards announced recently.

One of 55 educators in the country, she was the only one from Kansas to be awarded the loftly title and gift. She also says that her job is the best job in the world. Something you would expect from one of the best in the country.

During a surprise assembly on Oct. 6 Jeanie Padron, a 4th grade teacher at Maize Central Elementary, found out she was one of the best in the country when she was awarded the national award and $25,000 to go along with it. "I am honored beyond honored" she said. She also added her reward was seeing the kids in her class grow from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

Every morning students in her class dance to get their bodies ready for the school day. It's a way to get kids excited about the knowledge they are about to receive at Maize Central Elementary, which sits right in the middle of Maize, Kansas. The classroom she has created is loaded with positive energy where students learn through the power of creative and physical activity.

She also keeps active professionally with additional duties at Maize Central, she announces the school's pep rallies and assemblies, serves on her district's Social Studies curriculum task force and is on the transition team of the Multi Tier Systems of Support (MTSS) leadership team.

Jeanie is another example of the great people we have working with our students in Kansas. I am very proud of her even though I don't know her personally, I know she sets the standard her colleagues throughout the state.

As for her winnings she plans to throw a pizza party for her class, buy some school supplies, take a trip to Hawaii and give some money to her mom who inspired her to become a teacher.

Congratulations Jeanie your Kansas educators are proud of you and what you do for kids!